Chiropractor Nicknamed “The Godfather” Arraigned on Workers Comp and Insurance Fraud Charges
On Friday, September 5th, a Riverside, California-based chiropractor who has nicknames like “The Godfather” and “Number One” has been arraigned on charges of workers comp and insurance fraud.
Peyman Heidary, 44, has not only been charged with workers comp fraud, but also with heading a criminal organization, which established medical clinics in Riverside, Orange, and Los Angeles Counties in California, and also establishing a law firm that sent workers comp claims for exaggerated or nonexistent injuries. The workers comp claims alone defrauded insurance companies of $50 million, according to prosecutors.
Investigators from the Riverside County District Attorney’s Office, as well as the State Fund, noted on July 23rd that they could document a loss of at least $5 million from California’s workers comp.
“Defendant is neither a medical doctor nor an attorney,” district attorney Senior Investigator William Hanley wrote in a court document. The medical clinics’ “main purpose is to milk money out of Workers’ Compensation Insurance Companies,” Hanley added.
Heidary and three of his former employees have been arraigned on 22 counts of making false statements. Heidary and Cary David Abramowitz, 57, were also charged with practicing medicine without certification; Heidary and Erica Torres, 31, were charged with practicing law without a license; and Heidary, Torres, Abramowitz, and a fourth defendant, Michael Angel Tuosto, 62, were all charged with conspiracy to commit a crime.
Heidary’s former chiropractic businesses are shuttered, and he is being held in jail in lieu of a $1.3 million bond for the workers comp and insurance fraud charges.
Documented Worker’s Comp Fraud
If the insurance company or an investigator is able to collect video or other documented evidence that you are not as injured as you claim to be, or that you are working another job while you are out on workers comp, your risk immediate termination of your benefits as well as a reduction in your impairment rating. Allegations of insurance fraud can also result in criminal charges against you. Remember, even a one time out of character act may be memorialized in a picture or video forever.
Workers comp fraud can make it more difficult for you to file a workers comp insurance claim when you are genuinely injured. Workers’ Comp Insurance companies hire investigators to generate evidence that your injuries are not as bad as you claim them to be, and/or that you are working a second job while you are receiving temporary benefits.
If you aren’t committing a blatant infringement against your workers’ comp claim, such as working a second job, a Worker’s Comp Insurance investigator could still collect data that may be slanted to use against you. Remember, they aren’t just ruling you out for workers’ comp fraud. These investigators are paid to find as much information as possible to help a workers’ comp insurance company deny your claim.
Methods of surveillance may extend beyond traditional physical surveillance to include social media such as MySpace and Facebook. You should be aware that if your Facebook privacy settings are open, anyone can access your information, including wall posts and pictures. When viewed out of context, this information may hurt your case and affect your overall impairment rating. Similarly, information that anyone else posts about you may also be fair game.
The Strom Law Firm Can Help with Workers Comp Claims in South Carolina
The workers comp lawyers at The Strom Law Firm, LLC proudly seek justice on behalf of employees injured or killed on the job who work for private companies, as well as employees working for local county, city, and state government. We are licensed to practice throughout South Carolina, as well as Georgia and New York. If you have been injured on the job, give us a call. We offer a free consultation to discuss the facts of your case. 803.252.4800.