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California officer files fraudulent workers' compensation claims

Although there are times that many of us don't feel like going to work, most of the time we push through to ensure we perform our duties, even when our heart is not fully in it. However, for those who are actually sick or injured, workers' compensation has long been in place to serve as a safety net in the event a California worker is unable to make it to work. This process has its downside as well, as there are cases each year where people file fraudulent workers' compensation claims that if discovered, can bring with them serious penalties.

In a recent case, a former police officer was sentenced to four months in jail after he was convicted of workers' compensation fraud. The officer claimed to be unfit for duty because of a back injury. The department offered the man a chance to work desk duty, but the man said that he was physically unable.

Suspicions arose as to the validity of the man's claim when video surfaced showing the man playing in an adult baseball league. The video is alleged to have shown the man running around the bases and sliding, even when he claimed he was too hurt to sit at a desk. As a result of the investigation, the man was charged and later pleaded guilty to two felony counts.

Unfortunately there are many people each year who attempt to take advantage of workers' compensation. However, there are also a large number of people each year who suffer from real injuries that force them to stay out of work. Just because there fraudulent workers' compensation claims made, does not mean that all who are charged are guilty of the offense, making it essential for each defendant to present their version of events to a California judge or jury.

Source: ktla.com, "Oxnard Police Officer Sentenced to Jail in Workers' Comp. Fraud," Mary Beth McDade, June 15, 2013

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