Claimants Allegedly Collect $29K In Benefits Illegally

Austin, TX (CompNewsNetwork) - Texas Mutual Insurance Company reported today that Travis County grand juries indicted six claimants, in separate cases, on workers' compensation fraud-related charges. The claimants allegedly collected a combined $29,205 in benefits they were not entitled to.

Here are the individuals who were indicted and the amount in benefits they allegedly collected illegally: Bobby Phifer of Greenville, $10,221; Tobias Arias of Tyler, $10,100; Jorge Barajas of Dallas, $3,232; Heide Bolton of DeRidder, LA, $2,376; Charles Richter of Austin, $1,679; Robert Rosette of Port Arthur, $1,597. 

All six cases involved a scam that investigators call double-dipping. Double-dipping occurs when claimants collect benefits for being too injured to work when they are, in fact, gainfully employed. State law requires injured workers to notify their insurance carrier when they return to work.

Double-dipping and other workers' comp fraud scams can lead to higher premiums for all Texas employers.

Note: A grand jury indictment is a formal accusation – not a conviction – of criminal conduct.

About Texas Mutual Insurance Company

Austin-based Texas Mutual Insurance Company is the state's leading provider of workers' compensation insurance, with approximately 25 percent of the market. Since 1991, the company has provided a stable, competitively priced source of workers' comp insurance for Texas employers. In 2008, Texas Mutual saved or recovered $4.1 million through its claimant fraud investigations. It recovered another $1.1 million from employers who tried to illegally lower their premium, and it prevented $1.3 million in health care provider fraud.

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