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Insurance Fraud

May 27, 1989 | MYRON LEVIN, Times Staff Writer
A former office administrator for a Woodland Hills law firm pleaded guilty Friday to mail fraud and agreed to cooperate with federal authorities investigating a group of Los Angeles-area lawyers suspected of defrauding insurance companies of millions of dollars in legal fees. Kathleen M. Monahan, 45, became the third target of the federal probe to agree to assist the government. She was accused of mailing an inflated bill from the office of attorney Alan Arnold to an insurance company in November, 1985.
March 27, 2014 | By Stuart Pfeifer
Ten Southern California surgery centers once affiliated with the defunct 1-800-GET-THIN advertising campaign are suing UnitedHealth Group Inc. to get reimbursed for hundreds of Lap-Band weight-loss procedures. The lawsuit comes amid federal and state investigations into allegations that the surgery centers defrauded UnitedHealth Group and other insurance companies, according to a government affidavit and a demand letter filed in two federal court cases. The 1-800-GET-THIN ads once blanketed Southern California freeway billboards and broadcast airwaves, but the campaign was halted after the Food and Drug Administration said the ads failed to disclose adequately the risks of weight-loss surgery.
March 23, 1994 | JEFF BRAZIL
A Santa Ana orthopedic surgeon charged two years ago in a much-publicized crackdown on workers' compensation insurance fraud was acquitted Tuesday on all 14 counts against him. The not-guilty verdict, delivered by a Los Angeles County Superior Court jury, exonerated Dr. Marappa V. Gopinath, 46, who had been accused of filing bogus insurance claims.
March 4, 2014 | By Tina Susman
NEW YORK -- A Long Island man who admitted helping his father fake his own drowning was sentenced to a year in jail Tuesday, the latest twist in an unwieldy case that became a textbook example of how not to get away with it. Jonathan Roth, 23, apologized as he was sentenced Tuesday in Mineola, N.Y., 17 months after he reported his father, Raymond Roth, missing in the waves off a popular Long Island beach. "I realize what I did was wrong," said the younger Roth, who could have avoided jail time if he had complied with a deal his attorney struck with Nassau County prosecutors last year.
July 2, 1988
A 47-year-old Granada Hills man has been arrested on suspicion of bilking an insurance company out of more than $15,000, authorities said. James Francis Dorobiala, of Chatsworth, was arrested Thursday on suspicion of conspiracy, insurance fraud and grand theft, said Hal Huber, supervising criminal investigator in the Fraud Division of the Los Angeles office of the state Department of Insurance. Dorobiala was released from the Los Angeles County Jail after posting $25,000 bail.
April 1, 1992 | From Reuters
Manhattan prosecutors said Tuesday that 45 people have been indicted in one of the largest casualty-insurance fraud cases of its kind ever brought in the United States. The defendants allegedly set up a "full-service" scheme in which they helped set numerous fires in New York's garment district, filed more than $12 million worth of bogus claims to more than 20 insurance companies and arranged for crooked adjusters to evaluate the claims. As a result, about $3 million in payments were made.
August 5, 2011 | By Corina Knoll, Los Angeles Times
A 65-year-old doctor was convicted Thursday of performing unnecessary and dangerous surgeries on more than 160 people in a $154-million medical insurance scam that lured patients by promising them cash or low-cost cosmetic surgeries. Dr. Michael Chan of Cerritos, one of 19 defendants accused of fraudulently billing medical insurance companies, pleaded guilty in Orange County Superior Court to 40 felony counts, including conspiracy to commit insurance fraud and insurance fraud. He faces up to 28 years in state prison.
October 18, 2010 | By Joel Rubin, Los Angeles Times
Two Los Angeles police officers were charged Monday with insurance fraud stemming from a case in which one of them allegedly had his car torched and the other helped cover up the crime, the Los Angeles County district attorney's office announced. Anthony Robert Villanueva, 24, allegedly arranged to have his 2001 Lexus sedan taken to the desert and set on fire in April. He then reported the car stolen and submitted a claim with his insurance company to be reimbursed, authorities alleged.
December 15, 2013 | By Marc Lifsher
SACRAMENTO - Think insurance regulation is a dull business? Tell that to Eric Weirich, California's top insurance cop. Weirich, a deputy commissioner at the Insurance Department, leads a force of 275 in the fight against crime in the $80-billion-a-year insurance industry. His division investigates and teams up with county district attorneys to prosecute staged auto collisions, arson, bogus workers' compensation claims, fraud against insurers and policyholders, and other crimes.
October 28, 2013 | By Becca Clemons
WASHINGTON -- A former congressman convicted of 17 felonies including extortion, money laundering, bribery and insurance fraud was sentenced Monday to three years in prison. Former Rep. Rick Renzi, a three-term Republican from Flagstaff, Ariz., was convicted in June of using his influence in Congress to profit from a federal land deal and of using clients' insurance premiums to finance his first congressional campaign, the Justice Department said. In 2005, Renzi used his position to promote a land deal that brought millions of dollars to him and a business partner, James W. Sandlin, the Justice Department said in a news release.
September 20, 2013 | By Scott Glover
A Monterey Park pediatrician is accused of doling out prescription-strength diet pills to adults who had no legitimate need for the drug, according to an indictment unsealed Friday in Los Angeles County Superior Court. Dr. Thomas Lin, who operates a pediatrics clinic on Atlantic Boulevard known as “Kid's M.D.,” is accused of illegally prescribing and dispensing a potent stimulant called Phentermine. Two of Lin's employees were also named in the 55-count indictment. Lin could not immediately be reached for comment.
August 2, 2013 | By Christopher Goffard
A 38-year-old Aliso Viejo woman is charged with setting fires in her taxpayer-subsidized residences, fraudulently collecting the insurance money, and cheating on welfare. Authorities said that in August 2009, Andrea Michelle Robinson set a fire in a bedroom of the Rancho Santa Margarita home where she was living while her 12-year-old daughter was asleep in another room, and collected $25,000 in insurance for the damage. In 2011 and 2012, authorities said, she set fires at her residences in Aliso Viejo and Laguna Niguel.
July 8, 2013 | By Tony Perry
A former Amtrak clerk who fled after being convicted of disability and insurance fraud in January has been apprehended in Mexico, the San Diego County district attorney's office said Monday. Wanda Lee Ann Podgurski, 60, had allegedly taunted law enforcement authorities after she disappeared, including a tweet thought to be directed at D.A. Bonnie Dumanis: "Catch me if you can. " Catch me if you can. - Wanda podgurski (@wanda_podgurski) June 6, 2013 Podgurski was arrested Thursday in Rosarito by the Fugitive Task Force.
June 27, 2013 | By Bill Shaikin
Are the New York Yankees so desperate to get rid of Alex Rodriguez that they would risk committing insurance fraud? Or are they just so frustrated with Rodriguez - and the never-ending soap opera that accompanies him - that they continue to suggest publicly that a guy with no apparent capacity for embarrassment wants to avoid embarrassment? In January, after a Miami New Times report linked Rodriguez to the Florida clinic at the heart of baseball's investigation into performance-enhancing drugs , the Yankees - er, "sources" - floated the idea that he might retire because his surgically repaired hip might not allow him to resume his career.
June 21, 2013 | By Tony Perry
A former Amtrak clerk convicted of receiving more than $650,000 in disability and insurance payments after faking injuries was sentenced Friday in San Diego County Superior Court  to 20 years in prison. Wanda Lee Ann Podgurski, 60, had been a fugitive since being convicted in January of 29 felony counts of insurance fraud, tax evasion, perjury and grand theft from the Amtrak Railroad Retirement Board and private insurance companies. Podgurski had been free on $500,000 bail during the two-month trial.
February 20, 2013 | By David G. Savage, Washington Bureau
WASHINGTON - The U.S. Supreme Court refused Wednesday to block the deportation of a Chicago woman and thousands of other immigrants who before 2010 were not warned by their lawyers when they pleaded guilty to serious crimes and were targeted for removal. The decision highlights the stark consequences for noncitizens of having a criminal record. The law calls for mandatory deportation for immigrants, including lawful residents, who have an "aggravated felony" on their record. The term can describe a variety of state and federal offenses.
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