Article updated: 11/7/2013 1:58 PM

Elgin man faces prison for 'slip and fall' insurance fraud

Juventino Guzman

Juventino Guzman

 
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A 51-year-old Elgin man has admitted to bilking insurance companies out of more than $200,000 by filing bogus "slip and fall" lawsuits, according Kane County prosecutors and court records.

Juventino Guzman, of the 500 block of Prospect Street, pleaded guilty this week to felony aggravated insurance fraud and forgery.

The most serious charge of insurance fraud carries a prison term of between four and 15 years, but probation also is an option.

Guzman entered a "cold plea," in which a defendant leaves it up to a judge to decide punishment instead of agreeing with prosecutors on a sentence before pleading guilty.

Judge John Barsanti will sentence Guzman, who is free on bond, Dec. 20.

A message left with Gary Topol, Guzman's defense attorney, was not returned.

According to prosecutors, Guzman submitted false insurance claims to three companies between Nov. 1, 2011, and Jan. 7, 2013.

Police said Guzman's claims were that he slipped and fell at: Popeyes Chicken, 1616 Big Timber Road, Elgin, in November 2011; Burger King, 7510 Kennedy Drive, Carpentersville, in April 2012; and Butera, 3 Clock Tower Plaza, Elgin, in December 2012.

Guzman admitted to police he faked injuries to get money from insurance companies and also submitted fraudulent paperwork to a company in 2009 for another slip and fall lawsuit that netted $219,000.

Guzman's only previous arrest in Kane County was for driving under the influence in August 1992 in Elgin, records show.

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