California Claims Adjuster and Chiropractor Arrested in $1.6M Operation – Insurance Journal

28October 2020

Article 0 Comments Claims adjuster, Agop Sarafian, 65, of La Crescenta, Calif., and chiropractic specialist, Shahe Topjian, D.C. 65, of Granada Hills, Calif., were arrested on felony insurance coverage fraud charges after apparently conspiring to defraud Sarafian's employer, the State Compensation Insurance Fund, by establishing phony employees' settlement lien payments to get unjust insurance payments of over $1.6 million.

A lien is often sent by a physician or service provider for payment that they believe they are entitled from a claimant's employees' compensation treatment or for services rendered.

In November 2019, another State Fund staff member apparently kept in mind a suspicious lien payment provided by Sarafian and encouraged an unique private investigator for State Fund of their issues. State Fund initiated an investigation and reportedly found that Sarafian had actually processed 459 lien payments to Topjian over a duration of 12 years. S

State Fund referred the case to the California Department of Insurance. The CDI's investigation, dubbed Operation Lien on Me, found Sarafian created and approved 459 lien payments for Topjian in between 2007 and 2019. Sarafian and Topjian supposedly conspired in this organized fraud plan to repeatedly defraud State Fund by setting up phony employees' compensation lien payments for services that were never ever supplied. Sarafian supposedly used info from previous State Fund workers' compensation claims he worked on to produce the deceitful lien payments.

The deceitful lien payments included no supporting documentation that Topjian provided treatment or treatments to any of the 459 complaintants. Sarafian processed the lien payments under his $5,000 authorizing authority limitation to prevent outdoors approval. The payments from State Fund were apparently sent out to Topjian and a portion was given to Sarafian, though neither of them was entitled to receive any of the payments. Their alleged fraud resulted in a $1,603,340 loss to State Fund. Sarafian resigned from State Fund in December 2019.

Both Sarafian and Topjian were booked into the Los Angeles Sheriff Department Inmate Reception Center. Bail was set at $50,000. Their arraignment will be scheduled at Department 30 of the Foltz Criminal Justice Center. The Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office is prosecuting this case.

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Source: insurancejournal.com

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