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FLASH REPORT!

Workers' Comp Fraud Convictions Spiral: Surpass 100 in 2011

Dishonest employees continue to prey on the workers' compensation system by making fraudulent claims and seeking to extend benefits longer than necessary, but employers are playing a vital role in identifying the cheats.  New data from the California Department of Insurance show that prosecutors were able to secure convictions against 103 individuals in 2011 for various fraudulent acts against the workers' comp system.

But the dark lining to this silver cloud is that many more cases are still going undetected. And as the 2011 convictions indicate each individual act of fraud can be costly in an employers X-Mod, lost productivity and in similar fraud when others learn from each other. Employers can play an important role in catching fraudsters.

Los Angeles County prosecutors sealed the deal on the conviction of a former school safety officer in a case that cost the county north of $400,000.

Recently convicted, Christie Ann Murphy was sentenced to 180 days in jail and given 5 years probation for failing to disclose information and making a false or misleading statement in support of a claim. A source in the Sutter County District Attorney's office says she was also ordered to repay Travelers nearly $37,000 in restitution for her crime.

And in Ventura County, prosecutors won a conviction against Hector Rocha Villasenor in a case that included an estimated $42,000 in fraudulent payments. Villasenor was convicted of making a knowingly false or fraudulent statement to obtain compensation.

AD:  You can help stop costly employee fraud before it starts: Learn how by attending Workers’ Comp Executive’s webinar: Employee W/Comp Fraud: Spot it and Stop It! It’s happening next week on February 23. Get valuable information and tips on how to detect and stop fraud that employers can implement right away and agents and brokers can pass on to their clients. State Bar MCLE & CDI credit approved as well as AIHA, CSPA & CUSP. Click here to register

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