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Dental Assistant Charged with Insurance Fraud

2/10/2004

CONTACT: Nina Banister
(850) 413-2842

JACKSONVILLLE-A dental assistant is facing charges of workers' compensation fraud, grand theft and perjury after failing to tell her most recent employer that she had collected a $17,000 workers' compensation settlement for an allergic reaction to latex gloves while working for another dentist.

Carmen Burgado, 48, surrendered today on the charges and was booked into the Duval County Jail. The insurance fraud charges follow an investigation by the Department of Financial Services, Division of Insurance Fraud.

Dr. James Spurling, whose office is located at 2500 Monument Road Suite 102, hired Burgado on January 6, 2003. Four days later, Burgado reported she was having an allergic reaction to rubber gloves. The Hartford Insurance Company paid more than $13,000 in workers' compensation coverage on Burgado's claim, with Burgado collecting more than $8,500 directly as compensation.

After filing the most recent workers' compensation claim, Burgado denied in a deposition that she had any previous claim or a history of skin allergies or dermatitis.

Burgado was previously diagnosed with chronic dermatitis of the hands and informed that she should not wear latex gloves. On May 3, 1999, Burgado received $17,000 in a lump-sum settlement for a 1997 workers' compensation claim.

If convicted on the insurance related third-degree felonies, Burgado could be sentenced up to five years in prison and a $5,000 fine on each charge.

The Department of Financial Services, Division of Insurance Fraud, investigates various forms of fraud in insurance, including health, life, auto, property and workers' compensation insurance. Anyone with information about this case or another possible fraud scheme should call the department's Fraud Busters Hotline at 1-800-378-0445. A reward of up to $25,000 may be offered for information leading to a conviction.