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Workers’ Compensation Claim Fraud

Employers and the attorneys defending a claim for workers’ compensation will often report or refer allegations of fraud to law enforcement detectives. In Florida, those claims of workers’ compensation fraud are investigated by Florida’s Division of Insurance Fraud.

In other cases, detectives with the Economic Crimes Unit or the Florida Department of Financial Services will conduct elaborate sting operations to set up unsuspecting workers and employers. In fact, 35 suspects were recently arrested in Pinellas County, FL, during a two-day sting operation for unlicensed contracting and the failure to secure workers compensation.

Each year hundreds of individuals are arrested for allegations of fraud in workers’ compensation claims throughout the Tampa Bay area. No matter how the investigation begins, you need an experienced attorney to help you fight the charges.

Attorneys for Workers’ Compensation Fraud in Tampa, FL

If you find out that you are being investigated by any law enforcement detective with the Division of Insurance Fraud or the Florida Department of Financial Services, then immediately speak with an experienced criminal defense attorney to discuss your rights and what you need to do right now to protect yourself against the allegations.

Our best advice is to NEVER make any false statement in a workers’ compensation case. These cases are prosecuted aggressively, and the attorneys defending the workers’ compensation claim use tremendous resources to look for fraud. In fact, private investigators are often hired to follow you and videotape your every move in insurance fraud cases.

If you are under investigation, contact an experienced criminal defense attorney with the Sammis Law Firm to discuss any workers’ compensation fraud case in the Tampa Bay area including Tampa in Hillsborough County, Bartow or Lakeland in Polk County, Brooksville in Hernando County, New Port Richey or Dade City in Pasco, or Bradenton in Manatee County, Florida.

Never Speak to Law Enforcement About Workers’ Comp Fraud

Even if you are completely innocent of any criminal conduct, anything you say to law enforcement can and will be used against you. Most criminal defense attorneys agree that it is NEVER in your best interest to speak with law enforcement about criminal allegations until AFTER you have retained an attorney.

A criminal defense attorney is often in the best position to present your side of the story to law enforcement to convince them that a criminal prosecution is not warranted.

Call an experienced white collar crime defense attorney at the Sammis Law Firm to discuss any workers’ comp claim fraud investigation or prosecution in the Tampa Bay area including Tampa in Hillsborough County, Bartow and Lakeland in Polk County, New Port Richey and Dade City in Pasco County, St. Petersburg and Clearwater in Pinellas County, FL.

Workers’ Compensation Premium Fraud in Florida

The Florida Department of Financial Services has identified workers’ compensation premium fraud by Money Service Businesses in Florida as the largest threat to the workers’ compensation market in Florida. This premium fraud results in claims for which premium were never collected.

The Florida’s DIF Investigative Task Force was created in response to investigate money service business facilitated workers’ compensation fraud.

Money Service Business-Facilitated Workers’ Compensation Fraud

Money Service Business-Facilitated Workers’ Compensation Fraud in Florida is often discovered when officials with the Division of Workers’ Compensation or the Bureau of Compliance discover workers on job sites who are not reported as employees on any workers’ compensation policy. Instead, the crew “rents” a certificate of a “shell” company that was set up to avoid the workers’ compensation requirements.

Some of these individuals who use the shell company scheme also use undocumented foreign national laborers in order to avoid paying workers’ compensation insurance premiums. The insurance certificates of the shell company are being used by dozens of crew leaders all around the State of Florida.

Each crew claims to work for the shell company but is really just “renting” the insurance certificates. In the last few years, prosecutions for these types of schemes have skyrocketed. Prosecutions often include state racketeering charges based on the predicate offenses of:

  • Working without Worker’s Compensation Coverage (a third degree felony);
  • Perjury in official proceedings during a workers’ compensation fraud invesitgation (a third degree felony);
  • Providing false or misleading statements in a workers’ compensation fraud investigation;
  • Presenting false identity information for employment or workers’ compensation claim;
  • Presenting fraudulent certificate charged as uttering forgery instruments;
  • Using false proof of compliance with Florida’s insurance requirements under Florida Statute Section 440 (a third degree felony);
  • Falsifications of third-party business-to-business checks;
  • Collecting facilitator fees; and
  • Presenting fraudulently documents which are violations of FS 560 which regulates Money Service Businesses in Florida.

Bureau of Workers’ Compensation Fraud – Tampa Division

The Tampa’s Division of the Bureau of Workers’ Compensation Fraud is headed by Lieutenant Doreen Rivera Rapp. Statistics show that Lt. Rapp’s Tampa division lead the Bureau in the number of arrests which totaled 63 arrests in fiscal year 2010-2011.

Bureau of Workers’ Compensation Fraud – Tampa Division
8600 Hidden River Parkway, Suite 100
Tampa, FL 33637
(813) 972-8602

Finding an Attorney for Worker’s Compensation Claim Fraud

Once you discover that you are being investigated for Workers’ Compensation Claim Fraud then contact an experienced criminal defense attorney at the Sammis Law Firm before you make any statements to law enforcement. We work with our clients to protect their rights and gather favorable evidence.

Our insurance fraud defense attorneys negotiate with the law enforcement detectives investigating the claims and the prosecutors with the State Attorney’s Office who decide whether to formally file criminal charges. We aggressively fight claims of white collar and financial crime.

Contact us to discuss your case today. Call (813) 250-0500.

This article was last updated on Wednesday, November 7, 2018.