Alleged disability fraud foiled by the California Department of Insurance Detectives
Pest control in Sacramento charged with fraud and large-scale theft
July 16, 2021 – SACRAMENTO, Calif. – John Swank, 58, was charged with multiple insurance fraud and aggravated theft after claiming he was too sick to work while being redundant $ 60,000 in disability insurance payments that he was not entitled to because he started working for other employers. The alleged fraud was exposed by Department of Insurance detectives who want to protect both consumers and businesses from false claims and fraudulent practices.
In April 2015, Swank, an avian specialist with a local pest control company, filed disability claims with his employer for bowel and heart problems. The Long Term Disability (LTD) policy that Swank had acquired through his employer a year earlier to cover illness or injury unrelated to work stated that a beneficiary who was disabled and employed would receive a weekly payment would receive his weekly disability income if all were less than 20 percent of their weekly income. The policy also said that LTD payments would stop the day the disability income exceeds the amount allowed under the plan.
Swank collected LTD payments totaling approximately $ 105,800 from June 2015 to July 2019.
An investigation by the California Department of Insurance found in November 2018 that Swank had not returned to work in a disability status update to his employer’s insurance company processing his claim. However, the investigation found that Swank had worked for several different pest control companies between January 2017 and 2020, which resulted in him receiving $ 63,387 in disability payments that he was not entitled to.
Swank’s original employer insurance sent him a rejection letter stating that he would no longer be eligible for LTD payments due to his return to work on January 6, 2017, as his income was higher than the policy allowed.
Swank surrendered to Sacramento County’s Main Prison and was charged on July 15, 2021. The Sacramento District Attorney’s Office is pursuing this case.
Source: CA. Insurance department