Nursing Technician Sentenced in Felony Theft Scheme

BALTIMORE, MD – 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.