The California Department of Insurance (CDI) announced the arrests of three suspects on various charges.
CDI Criminal Investigators arrested Richard Contreras, 41, and his wife Jun Nigh Contreras Carrasco, 42, of Fontana earlier in September. The United States Customs Service arrested Robert Bird, 65, of La Quinta, last week as he reentered the United States at the San Francisco Airport and was being held in custody by the San Francisco Police Department and transported to the Los Angeles County Jail by County sheriffs.
The suspects were arrested for Insurance Fraud, Grand Theft, Conspiracy, and Labor Code Violations for Receiving Consideration for Referrals. Jun Nigh has been released on $500,000 bail. The Los Angeles County District Attorneys’ Workers’ Compensation Unit is prosecuting the case.
According to investigators, the investigation involved a Third Party Administrator, Fleming & Associates, and a La Crescenta-based company, which processed workers’ comp claims for various employers and public entities that are self-insured. Fleming & Associates paid out over $1 million to seven phony companies for fraudulent billing for employee vocational rehabilitation services.
Robert Bird owned two shell companies (Glendale P.O. Boxes only) that billed for alleged workers’ comp vocational rehabilitation services during January 2000 through December 2003 in the amount of $720,170.
Richard Contreras worked at Fleming & Associates and allegedly generated invoices for services that were excessive, unnecessary or fraudulent and directed the payments to Robert Bird’s companies.
Between 1996 and December 2003, investigators allege Richard Contreras and his wife formed five different vocational rehabilitation companies, four of which were P.O. Box addresses, and Jun Nigh Contreras Carrasco generated invoices for services that were excessive, unnecessary or fraudulent.
Richard Contreras then allegedly directed the payments to their companies. Contreras authorized payments in the amount of $464,600 during the same period of time.
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