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Tristar Owner, Tom Veale, Can't Yet Comment On LA County Embezzlement Scandal, But Does Still Say A Few Things
By Lonce LaMon - October 5, 2010

The president and owner of Tristar Risk Management, Tom Veale, commented today this late afternoon just moments ago, October 5, 2010, that at this time he basically cannot yet comment on the case of the recent scandal of the embezzlement of 1.5 million dollars out of his company on the Los Angeles County account, which is handled out of his Santa Ana, Orange County claims office. 

“All I can tell you right now is that it’s an on-going investigation,” Veale said by phone.

Three Tristar employees were arrested last week, Javier Contreras, Christian Ochoa, and Hugo Ochoa, and are presently in Los Angeles County jail.  Javier Contreras is the father of Christian Ochoa and Hugo Ochoa.  Three other family members were arrested, as well.  Thus, the number of persons arrested in total with respect to this case is six. 

Javier Contreras is a man in his early fifties and Christian and Hugo Ochoa are in their mid-twenties.  Christian and Hugo Ochoa were claims examiners in the workers’ compensation department and Javier Contreras worked in a different capacity and department. 

One thing Tom Veale told me he could say today is, “One can surmise that this was likely organized by others than those three (Tristar employees) that were arrested.  And our hope is that now they are arrested and in jail, that they will start talking.” 

The acting risk manager of the County of Los Angeles, Steve Nyblom, is out of his office until early next week, so Veale has to wait for him to return in order to coordinate his statements.  He has therefore committed to having the complete information for me next week.  “I am drafting a letter to our clients,” he further explained. 

“Based on what he (The Department of Insurance Investigator) told me, there are just some things I can’t talk about.  One thing I’m going to tell you is that—and his words are—this is probably the most interesting case he’s worked on in his career.”

One prominent claims manager of a large self-insured entity in Southern California stated in an email this morning that this Tristar embezzlement news, which broke last Thursday, came as “a total shocker” to him.  “My fear of course is that it can happen anywhere,” he further stated, asking that his name not be used in this article in conformity with his company’s policy on not being quoted by the Media without prior consent.  

Readers may write to writer Lonce LaMon at lonce@adjustercom.com

 

 
 

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