Inland Empire Sizzling with Fraud Division Activity

September 19, 2001

Two individuals were arraigned on felony grand theft charges stemming from an embezzlement scheme uncovered by the California Department of Insurance (CDI) Criminal Investigations Branch, Fraud Division. If convicted, each could face up to five years in state prison and/or fines up to $50,000. The San Bernardino County District Attorney’s Office, Workers’ Compensation Fraud Unit is prosecuting the case.

Farrah Winkler and Darnell Lee were arrested on Aug. 8, 2001, and booked into the West Valley Detention Center with bail set at $40,000 and $25,000 respectively. An investigation revealed that Winkler, while employed as a claims adjuster for Livermore and Associates, created false documents purporting to show that her brother and Lee (a cousin) were providing medical and/or interpreting services in regard to workers’ comp claims.

Due to the creation of these faulty documents, the California Insurance Guarantee Association paid out $68,500 to the brother and Lee for services never rendered. According to investigators, once the money was paid Winkler allegedly received half the money back from the brother and Lee for arranging the scheme. Earley Nicolis Jr. remains a fugitive in this case.

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

Glenn Brittner, 45, was booked into Victorville Sheriff’s Jail facility with bail set at $25,000. If convicted, Brittner could face up to five years in state prison and/or fines up to $50,000. The San Bernardino County District Attorney’s Office, Workers’ Compensation Fraud Unit is prosecuting the case.

According to investigators, Brittner owned and operated Domestic Water Delivery and was insured with the State Compensation Insurance Fund (SCIF) from March 1997 to December 1999. During this time Brittner reported $7,531 of payroll to SCIF. Audits conducted by SCIF determined the actual payroll for the same time period was actually $44,665.

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