Peyman Heidary is a man who makes offers that many people can’t refuse. And that’s just what is getting him into some substantial hot water right now.
Heidary, a chiropractor who calls himself “The Godfather”, is allegedly part of one of the largest insurance fraud cases the Riverside County DA’s Office has ever had to prosecute.
This post discusses the case of Peyman Heidary alleged of insurance fraud, and what employers can do to fight workers’ comp fraud.
Most of the time, when you think about a worker’s comp scheme, you imagine an employee defrauding the company, pretending that an injury is far more severe than it really is. He or she might even fake a nonexistent injury. However, Heidary’s crimes go far beyond that. In fact, he’s the reason that other people tend to fake the severity of their injuries.
The 44-year-old chiropractor is charged as being the head of a criminal group that created medical clinics throughout the Southern California area. He established clinics in Los Angeles County, as well as Riverside and Orange County, as well as a law firm that submitted workers’ compensation claims for thousands of workers. These claims were for injuries that did not exist or for injuries that were exaggerated. In total, they billed the insurance companies for around $50 million.
The investigation into Heidary revealed other aliases and nicknames, including Brian Heidary and Number One. When the investigators delved into the case deeper, they found that Heidary was in charge of a variety of different companies. He was the president of California Health Care Management in Corona, La Habra, and Anaheim. He was in charge of the Bureaus of California Promotions and Management in Corona, Fullerton, and Orange. He also happens to be in charge of Heidary Chiropractic in Anaheim, Fullerton, and Corona, the head of Doctor’s Reports Inc. in La Habra and Fullerton, and of California Injury Lawyers in Corona. He was also in charge of California Lawyers Network in Industry.
When you look at these various “business endeavors”, it is quite easy to see the basics of how this scheme worked. He had his hooks in both the legal and medical side of the equation, creating what he thought was the foolproof con against the insurance companies.
He and three other employees in his companies are facing 22 counts each of fraud claims for payment of healthcare benefits greater than $950. Heidary, along with Cary David Abramowitz also received charges of practicing medicine without certification. Heidary and Erica Torres received charges of practicing law without a license. He and Michael Angel Tuosto, Jr. received charges of conspiracy to commit a crime. Each of the charges they face are felonies.
The purpose of each of these endeavors was not to help injured workers who actually needed to make legitimate use of the system. Instead, it was a grand setup that would take advantage of that system at every step of the way. The bogus attorneys would send the clients to the bogus medical professionals, and they would bilk the insurance companies out of millions. Fortunately, the authorities were able to stop them before they continued to defraud companies.
How to fight all types of workers’ comp fraud
It is important to fight against fraud at every level. This starts with hiring practices. It is important to run complete and thorough background checks on all of the employees before hiring and bringing them aboard. Monitoring the workspace, stairwells, and other areas around the company with security cameras is another good way to diminish workers’ comp fraud, as well as other crimes in the workplace, such as theft. Additionally, make sure the work environment is actually safe to cut down on actual workers’ compensation claims.
Additionally, any company – whether the insurance company or a business with workers who make workers’ comp claims – should consider working with a professional investigator if they feel anything is out of the norm. Having an investigator who can perform surveillance and investigate the credentials of the attorneys and supposed medical professionals can help save a substantial amount of money and headaches.
We tell all our corporate clients to vigorously investigate all suspicious claims. Once we are successful for a company and show through our reports and video tapes that the employee is faking their injuries, we encourage the employer to take this matter to the law enforcement community for the purpose of filing criminal charges. That sends a very strong message. If you have a legitimate injury, then by all means seek whatever medical assistance you need. If you are faking injury, understand that we will be coming after you both in the civil and criminal arenas.