Claimant Fraud Conviction, Indictments

Texas Mutual Insurance Company reported today that a Travis County district court sentenced Bobby Phifer of Greenville, Texas on workers’ compensation fraud-related charges. Phifer was sentenced to six months in jail.

Phifer reported a job-related injury while working as a laborer for JC2DC2 Enterprises of Austin.  He claimed he was unable to work as a result of the injury, and Texas Mutual began paying income benefits to him.

Meanwhile, Texas Mutual uncovered evidence that Phifer was working as a general laborer for multiple staffing services while receiving income benefits.

Investigators call this type of scam double-dipping because the claimant collects benefits for being too injured to work when he or she is, in fact, gainfully employed. Texas law requires claimants to contact their workers’ comp carrier when they return to work. Left unchecked, double-dipping and other workers’ comp fraud can lead to higher premiums for all Texas employers.

In other double-dipping news

Travis County grand juries indicted two claimants, in separate cases, on workers’ compensation fraud-related charges. 

Thomas Mikulenka of League City, Texas and Chindra Michael of Silsbee, Texas allegedly collected $23,493 and $3,437 in benefits, respectively, from Texas Mutual that they were not entitled to.

 Texas Mutual notes that a grand jury indictment is a formal accusation, not a conviction, of criminal conduct.

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