A California attorney was arrested this week for illegally billing 20 separate insurance companies and collecting over $310,000 in workers’ compensation fees, the California Department of Insurance announced.
Moses Luna, 73, of Newport Beach, CA, faces 20 felony counts of insurance fraud. He is scheduled to return to court on January 19, 2021. The press did not name an attorney for him.
Records show Luna is a practicing workers’ compensation attorney as well as the owner of Adelante Interpreting Inc., a language translation company based in California. Using his position as an attorney, Luna allegedly referred his workers’ compensation clients to his language translation company whenever non-English-speaking claimants needed to have depositions or medical appointments. His clients’ insurance providers were billed for the translation fees because the services were deemed necessary for processing their compensation claims.
An investigation by the California Department of Insurance and the Orange County District Attorney’s Office reportedly revealed that Luna failed to disclose his financial interest in Adelante Interpreting, as is required by state law. He allegedly used his daughter’s name on corporate paperwork in order to hide his ownership of the company. Even though everything was done under his daughter’s name, Luna purportedly still controlled all aspects of the company, including administrative protocols, independent contractor protocols, employee protocols, as well as billing and collection protocols.
The insurance companies Luna reportedly defrauded include: Amtrust, ACM, AIG, BHHC, CompWest, ESIS, Employers, Farmers, Hartford, ICW, Liberty Mutual, Markel, Matrix, Midwest, Sentry, Sedgwick, SCIF, Travelers, York and Zurich. The case is being prosecuted by the Orange County District Attorney’s Office. It is not clear whether Luna’s daughter was aware that her name was used on the paperwork for Adelante Interpreting.
In California, workers’ compensation insurance is a no-fault system. Injured workers must prove an injury was not their fault in order to receive benefits for a job-site injury. When white-collar criminals (including lawyers and doctors) entice, pay, and conspire with others to defraud the state workers’ compensation system, these types of schemes are considered insurance fraud offenses.
California Insurance Code Section 1871 defines insurance fraud as the providing of false information to either your insurance company or another person’s insurance company, which results in the payment for services that are not entitled. It can be filed as a felony or a misdemeanor depending on the extent of false information and the size of the financial loss. California’s legislature requires insurance providers to report any suspected fraud and maintain a system for funding enforcement.
Anyone arrested for an insurance fraud crime, or under investigation for a fraud offense, should seek the services of an experienced defense attorney who has extensive experience with insurance fraud cases. A good attorney will understand the serious nature of the alleged offense, decide how to best defend you, and how to resolve the case with minimal penalties.
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