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Authorities dispute bus driver's workers' comp claim, file charges

A bus driver with San Francisco's municipal public transit system filed various reports, including a workers' compensation claim, hoping to get some time off from work for on-the-job injuries allegedly suffered in a robbery.

There was only one problem connected with her claim: Video evidence contradicted it, with authorities believing that the woman filed a fraudulent workers' compensation claim. Instead of the scenario she envisioned unfolding as planned, she now faces a potential eight-year prison term.

The driver reported a robbery to police in June 2012, stating that she was attacked on her bus and beaten, with her assailant taking a book of bus transfers. She subsequently complained of head pain and filed a workers’ comp claim for that injury.

Unfortunately for her, evidence from an on-board camera did not support that version of reality.

As a result, the driver now faces a number of criminal counts and was formally charged earlier this week. In addition to the workers’ compensation fraud charge filed against her, authorities also charged her with filing a fraudulent insurance claim, submitting documents in support of a fraudulent claim and making false statements.

The woman is currently out of jail after posting bail and is scheduled to be formally arraigned next Monday.

As we have noted in select prior posts (e.g., please see our entry dated March 8, 2014), employee fraud harms an employer in myriad ways. Workers who file false claims flatly hurt the company’s bottom line.

Additionally, and as noted by San Francisco District Attorney George Gascon in an announcement detailing the charges filed against the driver, workers’ compensation fraud “undermines an important system for those that really need it.”

Source: San Francisco Examiner, "Muni bus driver charged with insurance fraud," Rob Nagle, April 7, 2014

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