California Store Director Sentenced for Workers’ Comp Fraud

Roseville, Calif., Bel Air Market Store Director Nichole Leddy and Assistant Store Director Amy Looper have been sentenced each to one count of workers’ compensation insurance fraud in Placer County, Calif., Superior Court, according to the Department of Insurance.

In August, Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner announced that Leddy and Looper were arraigned for allegedly committing workers’ compensation fraud. Leddy and Looper allegedly encouraged injured employees at Bel Air Market to refrain from filing workers’ compensation claims, and instead instructed them to seek treatment through individual health insurance policies. The CDI investigation revealed that Leddy and Looper allegedly discouraged multiple employees from filing claims to keep the store record injury-free and earn special store incentives, including bonuses for management.

The investigation also revealed that in one instance, an injured employee was allegedly given cash from the store fund to cover co-payments for private health insurance coverage. Another employee was allegedly instructed to inform her private doctor that an on-duty work injury had occurred at home. The CDI Fraud Division launched this investigation after receiving an anonymous tip in March 2007.

Pursuant to a plea agreement, Leddy and Looper were each sentenced to 45 days county jail, which may be converted to 360 hours community service, and three years formal probation, among other fines and conditions. Leddy agreed to pay $13,500, and Looper agreed to pay $2,500 to the California Workers’ Compensation Fraud Fund. This case was a joint investigation between the Fraud Division and the Placer County District Attorney’s Office.

Source: CDI