Long Beach Insurance Agent Convicted of Embezzling Worker’s Comp Funds
If you have been injured on the job, you may think that the injury is the worst thing that could happen. But consider this. The Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced recently that a Long Beach man has been sentenced to just over 10 years in state prison for embezzling approximately $995,000 from a number of victims who were trying to invest their monetary settlement following a workplace accident.
Agent Pleads No Contest to Embezzlement in Workers Comp Case
The District Attorney’s office stated that Tom Fallon had pleaded no contest on May 15 to 15 felony counts of money laundering and 10 felony counts of grand theft by embezzlement. As part of his sentence, Fallon has been ordered by Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Daniel Lowenthal to pay restitution to the victims in the amount of $995,118.48.
Fallon, who owned an investment company that had been in business since 2012, rerouted the plaintiffs’ money in a series of transactions, ultimately ending up in his own account. The scheme was uncovered when one of the victims attempted to cash a check issued by Fallon, and the check was returned for insufficient funds.
Workers Comp Medicare Set Aside Accounts Used for Fraud
In the course of the California Department of Insurance investigation, it was discovered that Fallon persuaded his victims to deposit their workers comp settlement checks into workers compensation Medicare set aside accounts (WCMSA), which the law requires. But Fallon pressured his victims to place the funds in companies that he himself owned, and from there, he used that money to fund his various other businesses and for his own personal gain.
It is common in workers comp settlements to set aside an amount to pay for future medical services related to the injury or illness. This set-aside account is called a Workers’ Compensation Medicare Set Aside Account. These funds must be depleted before Medicare will pay for any further treatment that is deemed to be related to the workers compensation injury, illness, or disease.
Fallon, who shared an office with his victims’ attorney in Long Beach, was in a position to convince victims to deposit their settlement money in Fortis Financial Insurance Services, Inc. or Legacy Group Financial, both of which he owned. But in fact, no WCMSA account was ever established.
Fraud Leads to Heartbreaking Results for Workers Comp Claimants
The results were heartbreaking. Many of the victims recounted to the court that the embezzlement resulted in the loss of their homes, their way of lives, and their retirement accounts. In one tragic case, a victim took her own life because she was unable to deal with the impact of her loss.
Judge Lowenthal stated on the record that in all his years on the bench, he had never before been so touched by the statements of the victims and the impact the crime had had on them.
Once your case settles, you may think you are home free. However, it is important for you to place your settlement money in an investment vehicle that is safe and secure. We have 40 years of experience protecting injured workers and helping them throughout the workers comp process. You can trust the Long Beach attorneys at Cantrell Green to give you the best advice possible.
Long Beach Workers Comp Attorneys
If you were injured or made ill in the workplace, we recommend that you speak with an experienced workers comp attorney immediately. Even if you are currently receiving workers comp benefits, it is a good idea to get some legal advice to protect your rights going into the future.
An experienced Long Beach Workers Comp Attorney can help you identify minor issues before they become major problems – and make sure that you not only receive your benefits now, but for years to come.
Your consultation with our Long Beach Workers Comp Attorneys is 100% confidential, and neither your employer nor your insurance company will be notified that you requested a consultation with us. Our lawyers will help you understand your rights and work tirelessly to ensure that you receive the maximum workers’ comp benefits for which you qualify.
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