The Louisiana Workforce Commission’s efforts to crack down on workers’ compensation fraud continues in 2012, with the arrest of two Louisiana business owners and the recent sentencing of a Mississippi man.
Theron McKinley of Alexandria, doing business as McKinley Roofing & Construction, was arrested and booked in Rapides Parish on Wednesday, Jan. 25, for willfully violating the workers' compensation statute and insurance fraud laws by providing false information regarding his business having workers' compensation benefits.
On Tuesday, Jan. 24, Marrion Louis Russell of Clinton, doing business as Mr. Exhibit Services, Inc., was arrested and booked in East Feliciana Parish for violations of the workers' compensation statute and for insurance fraud. Russell made false representations with regards to his business having valid workers' compensation coverage.
As a result of a plea agreement reached with the 22nd Judicial District Court of Louisiana on Tuesday, Jan. 17, Gino Dane Zari of Carrier, Mississippi, was sentenced to five years incarceration with the Louisiana Department of Corrections. Zari pleaded guilty to willful misrepresentations concerning the payment of workers' compensation benefits as well as felony theft. Zari illegally collected more than $28,000 in workers' compensation indemnity benefits and $45,000 in medical treatment. Evidence obtained in the investigation shows that Zari made numerous false statements to his employer and his insurer for the purpose of obtaining workers' compensation benefits. Zari was originally booked in St. Tammany Parish in August 2011 on these charges.
“The Louisiana Workforce Commission is committed to bringing offenders who violate and abuse the workers’ compensation system to justice quickly,” said LWC Executive Director Curt Eysink. “
Sixteen arrests, of which two were employers and 14 workers, were also made last year. The agency assessed $318,500 in compliance penalties.
For more information or to report suspected acts of workers’ compensation fraud, contact the Office of Workers’ Compensation’s Fraud Division at 1-800-201-3362 or visit www.laworks.net.
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