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Friday, May 24, 2024

Villager charged in fraudulent worker’s comp claim against employer

Gregory Fred Kargula
Gregory Fred Kargula

A Village of Chitty Chatty man has been charged with pursuing a fraudulent worker’s compensation claim against his former employer.

Gregory Fred Kargula, 74, was arrested earlier this month on a warrant charging him with felony fraud.

The Detroit, Mich. native was working for Carpet One at La Plaza Grande in The Villages, when he visited an urgent care clinic in The Villages on Feb. 1, 2020 complaining of shoulder and back pain, according to a report from the Florida Department of Financial Services.

“Kargula set up several appointments and visits regarding his alleged injuries he sustained to his back and left shoulder without notifying or getting the treatments approved from Carpet One’s workers’ compensation carrier, Frank Winston Crum Insurance,” the investigator wrote in the report.

The owner of Carpet One also indicated that Kargula had not been assigned any work that could have caused the injuries.

During a sworn deposition, Kargula allegedly committed perjury when asked if he had received any other source of income other than his Social Security after claiming being injured at Carpet One. He said he had no other income. It was later discovered that Kargula was working for and being paid by Oscar Quality Paint LLC, the report said.

The insurance company is seeking $17,466 in restitution.

In December 2020, Kargula allegedly damaged the paint on a 2018 Tesla owned by his former boss. Kargula was caught on camera pouring a liquid on the high-end electric vehicle while it was parked at Carpet One at 940 Bichara Blvd. at La Plaza Grande, according to an arrest report from the Lady Lake Police Department. The substance eroded the paint on the back of the vehicle and the bumper.

Carpet One on Bichara Boulevard in The Villages.

At the time, Kargula was described as a “disgruntled employee.” He was arrested on a charge of criminal mischief, but the charge was dropped after Kargula completed four hours of anger management and paid $1,580 in restitution for repair of the damage to the Tesla.

In 2017, Kargula was arrested after striking his wife at their home in the Village of Hadley. He was sentenced to one year of probation, but was jailed again later that same year after violating the terms of his probation by continuing the use of alcohol, having contact with his wife and failing to complete a batterers’ intervention program. After the probation violation, he was sentenced to two months and 29 days in jail.

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