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Knell O’Connor Danielewicz Workers’ Compensation – Litigation Result

Case Name:  APCom Power v. David Robert

Court No.: 2007 L 0198

Venue:  Judge Patrick Kelley

Respondent’s Attorney:  Bradley C. Knell

We are pleased to announce in the above-captioned matter that we were able to secure a Judgment Order in the amount of $163,407.69 against the above-named defendant in our Civil Fraud Action.  We first attempted to go through the Fraud Unit of the Illinois Department of Insurance, which recommended prosecution of this individual.  However, the Sangamon State’s Attorney’s office refused to prosecute.  It has been the undersigned’s experience in this matter and in prior cases that the various State’s Attorneys’ offices throughout the state of Illinois have refused to prosecute these cases under the Criminal Insurance Fraud Act section of the new Workers’ Compensation Act.  We have discussed this problem with various fraud investigators and they are extremely frustrated by the various State’s Attorneys’ negative responses to their prosecution recommendations.  Therefore, based upon the various State’s Attorneys’ repetitive refusal to prosecute cases, we decided to prosecute the petitioner for civil fraud under the Illinois Insurance Civil Fraud Act 7020 ILCS 5/46-5(a).

In the above-captioned matter, we were able to first get a Default Order, then later, a Default Judgment through various witnesses’ affidavits that the petitioner defrauded APCom Power in the amount of over $51,000.00.  We were able to establish that the petitioner was “double-dipping” by collecting TTD and earning income as a boilermaker at the same time.  Through the hard work of Mary Martin of Gallagher Bassett, and by her affidavit, we were able to establish over $51,000.00 in underlying damages.  Judge Kelley of Sangamon County then agreed with the stated underlying damages and awarded APCom Power three times the amount of the damages as set forth under the Illinois Insurance Civil Fraud Act.  The initial total Judgment was granted for $153,103.29.  In addition, we sought attorneys fees in the amount of $10,304.40, per the Illinois Insurance Fraud Act (7020 ILCS 5/46(a)).  Therefore, the total Judgment was increased to $163,407.69.  We were not done yet.  Then, we asked for 9% annual interest which was awarded from the date of the Judgment Order of June 17, 2008 to the date of collection.

Now we feel comes the tricky part.  We are now going to have to try to collect on this Judgment.  We know the petitioner has a job and owns property.  We were also able to secure a Memorandum Judgment which will be attached to his home.  Then, hopefully, through the means of a Citation to Discover Assets, we find out his checking account and payroll information in order to secure a garnishment order as well.

We believe that based upon our experience in this matter and others before, it is best to pursue fraudulent cases by means of the Illinois Insurance Civil Fraud Act and not through the Fraud Unit of the Illinois Department of Insurance.  Unfortunately, we believe that while the Fraud Unit has performed very diligent investigations, the various State’s Attorneys’ offices have repetitively turned down their recommendation for prosecution.  In fact, to the best of our knowledge, only one State’s Attorney’s office has prosecuted only one criminal fraud case to date. One unnamed investigator advised the undersigned they have recommended over 30 cases to be prosecuted, and yet, only one has resulted in an actual prosecution and conviction.

We will continue to keep you updated on this matter.  If you should have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact the undersigned.

Very truly yours,

Knell O’Connor Danielewicz, P.C.

Bradley C. Knell