CDI Criminal Investigations Net Arrests

September 11, 2001

A pair of individuals were arraigned on felony grand theft charges as a result of an embezzlement scheme which was uncovered by the California Department of Insurance Criminal Investigations Branch, Fraud Division. The pair could face up to five years in state prison and fines up to $50,000 if convicted.

Farrah Winkler and Darnell Lee were arrested in August and booked into the West Valley Detention Center with bail set at $40,000 and $25,000 respectively. The investigation revealed that Winkler, who was employed as a claims adjuster for Livermore and Associates, allegedly made false documents reported to show that her brother and Lee (a cousin) were providing medical and/or interpreting services in relation to workers’ compensation claims.

As a result of the faulty paperwork, the California Insurance Guarantee Association paid out $68,500 to the brother and Lee for work never rendered. Investigators allege that once the money was paid Winkler received half the money back from the brother and Lee for arranging the scheme. Earley Nicolis Jr. is still a fugitive in the case.

Investigators from CDI’s Criminal Investigations Branch, Fraud Division also arrested a Llano man on three counts of workers’ comp fraud and one count of grand theft.

If convicted, Glenn Brittner, who was booked into Victorville Sheriff’s Jail facility, could face up to five years in state prison and/or fines up to $50,000. Brittner’s bail was set at $25,000 and the San Bernardino County District Attorney’s Office, Workers’ Compensation Fraud Unit is prosecuting the case.

Investigators reported that Brittner owned and operated Domestic Water Delivery and was insured with the State Compensation Insurance Fund (SCIF) from March 1997 to December 1999.

During that time period, Brittner is alleged to have reported $7,531 of payroll to SCIF. Audits conducted by SCIF reported that the actual payroll for the same time period was in fact $44,665.

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