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Coronado Patch - A Navy veteran who committed fraud charges by running a business despite claiming unemployment and workers’ compensation benefits has been sentenced to two years in federal custody, court officials announced. Leray Shurn, 59, received the prison term in U.S. District Court in San Diego Monday, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office. While handing down the sentence, Judge Thomas Whelan also ordered Shurn to pay $357,977 in restitution — roughly equal to the amount he was accused of improperly receiving — along with a $5,000 fine. In January, a jury found Shurn guilty of 16 criminal counts in connection with acts of fraud that spanned more than five years. According to evidence presented at trial, Shurn falsely stated to the Navy and Department of Veterans Affairs that back and knee injuries prevented him from working as a naval civilian employee.
Friday, July 26, 2013
Risk & Insurance - In New Mexico, if a worker entitled to workers’ compensation fails to file a claim within the limitation period because the conduct of the employer reasonably led her to believe compensation would be paid, then the worker has a reasonable time to file. Summary: A police officer took a day off work to chaperone a group of children from his church on a recreational outing. He drowned while rescuing a 12-year-old boy from a river. Members of the police department assured the officer’s widow that they would "take care of everything for her," including workers’ compensation paperwork. When the widow realized that the employer did not file a workers’ compensation claim, she filed a complaint the same day, 45 days after the one-year statute of limitations expired.
Wednesday, July 24, 2013
Newsday - Two retired LIRR employees admitted Monday they were part of what prosecutors contend was an extensive scheme to falsify disability claims, which officials estimate could have cost taxpayers $1 billion. Testifying as witnesses for the prosecution in federal court in Manhattan, former LIRR benefits manager Regina Walsh, 65, of New Hyde Park, and retired conductor James Maher, 60, of Florida, said they exaggerated their disabilities and implicated two of the three defendants on trial facing charges they were key facilitators of the fraud. Both Walsh and Maher said they pleaded guilty to charges stemming from their involvement in the case. Walsh, a 30-year LIRR veteran who retired in 2006, said she faces 6 to 12 months in prison when she is sentenced. Maher, who retired at age 50 in October 2003, said he faces up to 55 years. Walsh is testifying without a cooperation agreement; Maher said he has one. Both hope Judge Victor Marrero will give them a break when he eventually sentences them.
Tuesday, July 23, 2013
Insurance Journal - A New Jersey state appellate court has ruled that a man who went missing in northern New Jersey is not financially responsible for the injuries suffered by a police officer who was hurt while trying to find him. The Star-Ledger reports that the ruling made public Tuesday rejected an insurer’s attempt to recover more than $43,810 in workers’ compensation funds paid to the Chester Township police officer.The New Jersey Intergovernmental Insurance Fund, on behalf of the township, had sued Dane Almassy and two friends to obtain the payments. The insurer claimed their “negligence” caused officer James Carkhuff’s knee injury.
Friday, July 19, 2013
Deseret News - Six months after losing most of his left leg when a car pinned him against his garbage truck, Mark Friend said Monday seeing Gov. Scott Walker sign a new law doubling fines for traffic offenses around sanitation workers makes everything he went through worth it. A car rammed into Friend in January while he was working his job depositing trash in Stoughton. He was in a coma for two weeks, spent two months in the hospital and has had 29 surgeries to date with at least one more expected.But Friend made sure to be there Monday to watch Walker sign into law a bill that treats waste haulers the same as highway construction and maintenance workers, doubling traffic fines or forfeitures for people who speed or drive recklessly near garbage trucks.
Thursday, July 18, 2013
KELOLAND TV - The South Dakota Supreme Court says a Sioux Falls company does not have to pay worker’s compensation insurance benefits to the estate of an employee who was shot and killed by her estranged husband in the company’s parking lot. Thirty-eight-year-old Julie Diane Tassler was killed by her husband, Steven Dean Tassler on Dec. 24, 2008, when she took a morning break in the parking lot of HSBC Card Services. He then killed himself. Julie Tassler’s estate sought worker’s compensation benefits, arguing her death arose out of her employment.
Tuesday, July 16, 2013
Lottery Post - Two New Jersey Lottery employees allegedly sickened by moldy Superstorm Sandy-damaged scratch-off tickets are looking to be compensated for some unlucky circumstances. The employees, who filed worker’s compensation claims, were exposed to approximately 400,000 stinky lottery tickets for more than six months in a warehouse at the state lottery headquarters in Lawrence and were asked to audit the tickets by their superiors. An account of the conditions from one warehouse employee was reported shortly before the tickets were removed on May 9.
Tuesday, July 09, 2013
The Californian - A 52-year-old Greenfield woman was sentenced to three years probation and 90 days in jail for making a false workers’ compensation claim, according to a release from the Monterey County District Attorney’s Office. Ema Pantoja pleaded guilty on April 30 after claiming for three years she’d extensively damaged her wrist while working at Scheid Vineyards in January 2007. Over the course of several years, Pantoja was examined by a number of doctors and testified under oath concerning her physical limitations. Continuing to receive treatment through May 2010, Pantoja told doctors she had not driven since her injury, but video surveillance captured her engaged in activities inconsistent with her testimony.
Monday, July 01, 2013
ABC News - A South Texas police officer had to deal with some unexpected monkey business as he wrote a speeding ticket. A pet monkey bit Aransas Pass Officer Keith Moore on the hand in an attack captured on videotape. KRIS-TV in Corpus Christi reported Thursday that Moore had a video camera on his glasses during the traffic stop. Moore is seen handing the driver something to sign when a monkey leaps from the back seat, bares its teeth and bites the officer’s right hand.
Friday, June 28, 2013
Insurance Journal - A Port Authority police officer has been charged with insurance fraud for claiming he was disabled while moonlighting in a rock band. Authorities say Christopher Inserra defrauded the AFLAC insurance company and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. According to an indictment unsealed Monday, the alleged fraud occurred between June 2010 and March 2012. The indictment says Inserra reported a debilitating injury while on duty to “the lower bicep and elbow region of his right arm.” But authorities say he regularly performed with the band.
Thursday, June 27, 2013
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