BALTIMORE, MD (March 2, 2018) – Maryland Attorney General Brian E. Frosh announced today that Durante Denard Branch, 30, of Baltimore City, was sentenced on one count of felony theft scheme having a value of at least $10,000 but less than $100,000. Baltimore City Circuit Court Judge Edward Hargadon sentenced Branch to seven years of incarceration, suspending all but 18 months, placed Branch on supervised probation for five years, and ordered $31,975 in restitution.
From July 2014 through July 2015, Branch filed eight fraudulent insurance claims under both his disability and accident policies with American Family Life Assurance Company of Columbus (Aflac).
Branch purchased these policies while employed as a nursing assistant with the University of Maryland Medical Systems (UMMS). Branch had access to patient medical records; he took these records, along with some of his own hospital records, altered the dates and names to correspond to dates he alleged he was unable to work and filed fraudulent claims with the records. Aflac paid out a total of $31,975 on his fraudulent claims.
“Stealing from insurance companies is illegal,” said Attorney General Frosh. “Branch abused his access to private medical records to steal those funds, defrauding his insurance company and violating the trust of his employer.”
“Investigating and prosecuting individuals that commit insurance fraud is a top priority for the Insurance Administration and we appreciate the support and collaboration we receive from the Attorney General’s office,” said Maryland Insurance Commissioner Al Redmer, Jr. “Consumers end up bearing the brunt of fraud through higher premiums and we actively encourage citizens and carriers to report questionable activity.”
The case was prosecuted by Assistant Attorney General Roberta G. Siskind of the Insurance Fraud Unit of the Maryland Attorney General’s Office, with assistance from Maryland Insurance Administration Investigator Bill Johns.
The Southern Maryland Chronicle is a local, small business entrusted to provide factual, unbiased reporting to the Southern Maryland Community. While we look to local businesses for advertising, we hope to keep that cost as low as possible in order to attract even the smallest of local businesses and help them get out to the public. We must also be able to pay employees(part-time and full-time), along with equipment, and website related things. We never want to make the Chronicle a “pay-wall” style news site.
To that end, we are looking to the community to offer donations. Whether it’s a one-time donation or you set up a reoccurring monthly donation. It is all appreciated. All donations at this time will be going to furthering the Chronicle through hiring individuals that have the same goals of providing fair, and unbiased news to the community. For now, donations will be going to a business PayPal account I have set-up for the Southern Maryland Chronicle, KDC Designs. All business transactions currently occur within this PayPal account. If you have any questions regarding this you can email me at email@example.com
Thank you for all of your support and I hope to continue bringing Southern Maryland the best news possible for a very long time. — David M. Higgins II