Consumer Success Stories
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News: 2014 Press Release
For Release: March 26, 2014
Media Calls Only: 916-492-3566
Restitution received for victims of Woodward senior fraud case
The California Department of Insurance acknowledges the hard work and joint efforts of agencies involved in the 2013 Woodward investigation, conviction and subsequent partial monetary restitution for the victims.
"Michael Woodward's callous scam targeted vulnerable seniors and led to many of them losing tens of thousands of dollars," said Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones. "Thanks to the superior work of California Department of Insurance investigators and aggressive prosecution by the District Attorney's office, the Woodward's property and other assets were seized and sold so we could provide at least partial restitution to the seniors and families ripped off by the Woodwards."
The California Department of Insurance investigation revealed that Woodward and his wife were failing to provide in home care services they promised to seniors. Inexpensive claims such as requests for housecleaning were often paid, but when victims made claims that were more expensive, the Woodwards rejected the claim. They also returned to victims' homes to collect additional premiums that were far above the original quoted cost of the plan.
Michael Woodward, 50, plead guilty in 2013in a San Diego courtroom to multiple felony counts including residential burglary,theft from an elder and other charges for their roles in scamming more than 230San Diego area senior citizens out of $1.9 million. Michael Woodward stipulated to an 11 year sentence in state prison. Melissa Woodward, 47, pled guilty to failure to file a tax return. Assets have been liquidated and the funds are in the process of being distributed to victims.
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Nationwide, victims were scammed out of nearly $6 million
- Victims identified in Los Angeles, Sacramento, San Bernardino, San Diego, Riverside and Orange.
- Services offered include cooking, cleaning, bathing, dressing, laundry and shopping- Operated in up to 10 states. Criminal or civil action taken against Woodward in Minnesota, Texas, Oregon, Washington, California - Moved from CA to Las Vegas Nevada in 2011- Set up businesses under Secure Care, All Secure Care, Home Health America, Americare, American Home Health, and US Home Care- Aliases include Mike Smith, Mike Woods, Mark Woods, Mike Blake and Melissa Bennett- Booking photos are available
The California Department of Insurance, established in 1868, is the largest consumer protection agency in California, regulating the $123 billion insurance marketplace. In 2013 the California Department of Insurance received more than 170,000 calls from consumers and helped recover over $63 million in claims and premiums. 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 or 213.897.8921. Telecommunications Devices for the Deaf (TDD), please dial 800.482.4833.