News: 2009 Press Release
For Release: August 19, 2009
Media Calls Only: 916-492-3566
Insurance Commissioner Poizner Announces Arrest of Diamond Bar Man in $1.4 Million Workers' Comp Fraud Case
Exclusive Properties Seized and Assets Frozen; Suspect Allegedly Underreported $20 Million in Payroll
Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner announced that Joseph Baiden, 56, of Diamond Bar, surrendered yesterday morning to the Los Angeles Superior Court pursuant to an arrest warrant issued for eight counts of workers' compensation insurance premium fraud against State Fund. Baiden is being held on $1.64 million bail.
"It appears that Baiden was living a lavish lifestyle due to ill-gotten gains," said Commissioner Poizner. "But through the work of our investigation and the efforts of our partners, the walls supporting his fraudulent schemes have come crashing down on him."
The arrest came as the result of an investigation by the California Department of Insurance (CDI). Along with the arrest, CDI froze Baiden's bank accounts and seized numerous properties (listed at bottom) throughout the Los Angeles area estimated at $4 million. His primary residence was located in an exclusive, gated hilltop neighborhood in Diamond Bar.
The case is being prosecuted by the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office. Each count is a felony and, if convicted on all counts, Baiden faces a maximum of 40 years in prison as well as $3.2 million in fines.
In September 2008, CDI received a referral from State Fund alleging that Baiden, doing business as Nurse Connection, Inc., was underreporting his workers' compensation payroll on the quarterly payroll reports. According to the referral, State Fund received an anonymous tip that Baiden had falsified payroll records as well as California and federal tax filings for the years 2001-07. It is alleged that Baiden misrepresented $20 million in Nurse Connection's payroll to conceal the actual risk to the insurance carrier, thereby illegally reducing his workers' compensation insurance premiums. State Fund's estimated loss over this seven-year period is approximately $1.4 million.
Based on the investigation, additional charges may be filed at a later date.
- 2710 Wagon Train Lane, Diamond Bar (primary residence)
- 2206 Rusty Pump Road, Diamond Bar
- 19 Pala Mesa Drive, Pomona
- 868 Sunset Place, Diamond Bar
- Residential acreage on Derringer Lane, Diamond Bar (Lots 29 & 30, Tract 23483)
Commissioner Poizner oversees sixteen CDI Enforcement Branch regional offices throughout the state. Nearly 1,900 insurance fraud-related arrests have been made by CDI since Commissioner Poizner took office in 2007 - more arrests than have been made during any other two year period, under any previous insurance commissioner.
Joseph Baiden booking photo
Baiden's primary residence.
One of the seized properties belonging to Baiden.
Please visit the Department of Insurance Web site at www.insurance.ca.gov. Non media inquiries should be directed to the Consumer Hotline at 800.927.HELP. Callers from out of state, please dial 213.897.8921. Telecommunications Devices for the Deaf (TDD), please dial 800.482.4833.
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