Slips and falls can sometimes be very damaging events that may affect victims both physically and financially. Not only that, but the business in which the fall occurred can also face financial repercussions. However, when these premises liability incidents are found to be fraudulent, sometimes the damage cannot be fixed.
In the case of US v. Peter Kalkanis et al. Case No. 1:18-cr-00289, three men were convicted for their involvement in a slip-and-fall scheme that netted at least $31 million in settlement and insurance payouts. A federal jury found Brian Duncan, Robert Locust, and Rain Rainford guilty of conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud. Two other men who were involved, Kerry Gordon and Peter Kalkanis, were indicted last year and pled guilty to charges of identity theft.
The scheme in question was in operation between 2013 and 2018. It initially involved people being recruited to pose as slip-and-fall victims and file lawsuits or insurance claims against business owners alleging they had injured themselves after tripping on sidewalks or cellar doors. Many alleged victims were actually homeless people.
Though participants weren’t actually hurt during the schemes, they did have to seek medical treatment. According to the U.S. Attorney General’s Office, “the fraud scheme participants advised the recruited patients that if they intended to continue with their lawsuits, they were required to undergo surgery. As an incentive to getting surgery, the recruited patients were offered a payment after they completed surgery as well as a percentage of any settlement payment from their lawsuit. ”
Protect Your Business Against Fraudulent Injury Claims
Fraudulent claims increase the costs of doing business and to the consumer. It’s important that businesses or entities facing claims such as these partner with an experienced personal injury defense attorney to ensure they don’t end up paying out unnecessarily. For more information on how we can help, contact the professionals at MehaffyWeber today.