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 doctor, Shahe Topjian, D.C. 65, of Granada Hills, Calif., were apprehended on felony insurance fraud charges after supposedly conspiring to defraud Sarafian's company, the State Compensation Insurance Fund, by setting up fake employees' compensation lien payments to receive undeserved insurance coverage payouts of over $1.6 million.

A lien is frequently submitted by a doctor or service provider for payment that they think they are entitled from a claimant's workers' compensation treatment or for services rendered.

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

State Fund referred the case to the California Department of Insurance. The CDI's examination, called Operation Lien on Me, discovered Sarafian created and authorized 459 lien payments for Topjian in between 2007 and 2019. Sarafian and Topjian allegedly conspired in this organized fraud plan to consistently defraud State Fund by setting up phony employees' compensation lien payments for services that were never ever provided. Sarafian apparently utilized information from past State Fund employees' comp claims he worked on to develop the deceptive lien payments.

The deceitful lien payments contained no supporting documentation that Topjian supplied treatment or procedures to any of the 459 complaintants. Sarafian processed the lien payments under his $5,000 approving authority limitation to prevent outside approval. The payments from State Fund were apparently sent to Topjian and a portion was offered to Sarafian, though neither of them was entitled to get any of the payments. Their alleged scams led to a $1,603,340 loss to State Fund. Sarafian resigned from State Fund in December 2019.

Both Sarafian and Topjian were scheduled into the Los Angeles Sheriff Department Inmate Reception Center. Bail was set at $50,000. Their arraignment will be arranged 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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