A lawmaker from Rhode Island is being accused of insurance fraud. Representative Leo Medina was charged with misappropriation of funds yesterday stemming from an policy check issued late last year. The check was a payout from a life insurance policy which was originally intended for one of Medina’s friends whose daughter had died. Medina allegedly kept the majority of the money for himself after helping his friend, who does not speak English, obtain a payout from an insurance company.
Insurance fraud has been a growing concern throughout the nation in recent months. Many states have been battling against fraud for years, but have only recently begun enacting new laws seeking to curb the spread of the crime. While it is not unheard of for government officials to be caught up in the tide of corruption, it can leave many with a sense of unease. Residents of Rhode Island are questioning the ability of the state government to regulate not only the insurance industry, but public officials as well.
Medina insists he is innocent of any wrongdoing. He claims that the issue is born of a disagreement between himself and his friend, which he likens to extortion. Speaking with reporters, Medina said that the problem would be resolved in 30 days. The case is currently pending investigation from the state’s insurance regulators and law enforcement officials.