Sacramento Claims Adjuster Busted

August 12, 2004

Sacramento (Calif.) District Attorney Jan Scully announced that Robert Harrison and Salvador Castaneda AKA Samuel Machado were convicted of Conspiracy to Commit Insurance Fraud, Embezzlement and Grand Theft.

Harrison was employed as a claims adjuster at a business that administered worker’s compensation claims for large corporations in Sacramento.

Over a 1 ½ year period, Harrison reportedly manipulated legitimate workers’ compensation claims to issue 70 checks he said constituted payment for interpreters utilized by injured workers while at doctor visits. In reality, the checks went to his friend, Salvador Castaneda, who reportedly used the alias of Samuel Machado to set up a phony business, called S R Machado and Associates, to receive the checks. The fictitious names were also intended to disguise their identities.

Harrison and Castaneda reportedly shared the proceeds of the checks, which totaled $163,695. A routine audit by the business brought the scheme to light. The case was then investigated by the Department of Insurance Fraud Division as well as the District Attorney’s Office.

Both culprits were sentenced to state prison and were ordered to repay the stolen money. Harrison was given a 4-year state prison sentence and Castaneda received an additional 8 months on top of 15 years to which he has already been sentenced for separate convictions of insurance fraud and assault with a firearm.

Deputy District Attorney Krista Kastanos stated, “Robert Harrison grossly violated the position of trust he enjoyed at his place of employment. He and Castaneda carried out a calculated and complex scheme to repeatedly help themselves to money intended to assist those who, unfortunately, have suffered legitimate injuries in the workplace.”

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