Talk about differing interpretations.
A New Orleans resident wearing two hats as a police department supervisor and church pastor terms it an honest mistake and nothing more. NOPD Lieutenant Gervais Allison’s attorney says that his client’s involvement in a serious criminal matter “is simply a case of miscommunication.”
Police officials and investigators opt for another interpretation. They call it insurance disability fraud.
And they have slapped Allison with a felony charge that could send him to prison.
Allison returned to work from disability status in November 2016, yet continued to cash checks from Standard Insurance Company for several months after that. He did so despite receiving persistent communications from the insurer concerning his condition and work status.
Authorities say that Allison had an opportunity to resolve the matter last year after being given the chance to make good with Standard on the overpayments. He refused to do so and was subsequently arrested.
Officials are flatly unreceptive to the officer/pastor’s insistence that confusion and unfamiliarity with the process -- rather than a purposeful intent to deceive – explain the multiple overpayments. They say that he was clearly on notice that payments should stop upon his return to work. Moreover, stresses a police affidavit in the case, Allison “showed additional intent to commit fraud” by failing to make restitution when given the chance to do so.
We similarly addressed a Louisiana-based insurance fraud attempt in our immediately preceding blog post. We noted in our February 10 entry that such ruses are far from victimless crimes. Rather, they “have financial consequences for everyone, from the insurance company to the individual policyholder.”
Truly, insurance fraud carries a heavy price. Reportedly, it costs Americans hundreds of millions of dollars every day of the year.