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Ventura Country DA receives sizeable state grant to take on work comp fraud

California law mandates that employees who suffer serious injuries while on the job are entitled to monetary assistance through their employers' workers' compensation insurance. Unfortunately, some employees will try to exploit this otherwise equitable system by misrepresenting the extent of their work injuries, or lying about how or where their injuries occurred.

Over the last few years, state officials have become increasingly attuned to the issue of work comp fraud/employee fraud here in the Golden State and are now seeking to combat it one case at a time.

To illustrate, just last week the California Department of Insurance announced the disbursement of nearly $1 million in grant money to the Ventura County District Attorney' Office for the express purpose of investigating and prosecuting workers' compensation fraud.

Thus far, the Department of Insurance has pledged grant money totaling close to $55 million to 33 counties to aid in the fight against insurance fraud. This rather sizeable allocation, however, must still receive approval in the final state budget.

The funding for the grant money in Ventura County and the remainder of the state is the direct result of annual assessments on California employers as determined by the Fraud Assessment Commission.

Counties seeking grant money must submit applications to the California Department of Insurance, where they are reviewed by the Workers' Compensation Grant Review Panel. Here, decisions on grant disbursements are made based upon consideration of a variety of factors and submitted to the Insurance Commissioner for review. The Insurance Commissioner, who either accepts or amends the recommendations, then submits them to the Fraud Assessment Commission.

"I am pleased today to announce [nearly] $1 million in grants to the Ventura District Attorney to fight workers' compensation fraud," said Commissioner Dave Jones. "Workers' compensation insurance fraud drives up the cost of workers' compensation insurance and hurts honest businesses and our economy."

Workers compensation fraud/employee fraud is a very serious crime. If you suspect that such a crime has been perpetrated against your organization, you should strongly consider speaking with an experienced workers' comp defense attorney.

Stay tuned for further developments in the area of workers' compensation defense law ...

This post was provided for informational purposes only and is not to be construed as legal advice.

Sources:

The Ventura County Star, "DA gets $1 million grant to combat insurance fraud," Stephanie Hoops, Oct. 15, 2012

California Department of Insurance, "Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones announces $1 million in grant funds to combat insurance fraud in Ventura County," Oct. 15, 2012

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