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Nurse jailed for fraudulent workers' compensation claims

When a California staff member attempts to defraud employers through the exaggeration of an injury, he or she can cause serious financial difficulties for the company by causing rising insurance premiums. A woman who worked as a registered nurse was recently sentenced after an investigation uncovered that she made fraudulent workers' compensation claims for a back injury. Reports indicate that she collected nearly $300,000 in benefits as a result of her fraudulent activity.

The nurse first informed her employer that she suffered a back injury, and then she moved forward with a claim for state disability. She also proceeded with filing for workers' compensation. The claims resulted in the woman collecting benefits for her back injury for over seven years.

Following the initial injury report, the woman claimed she was incapable of working as a result of her injury; she had back surgery three years later. This surgery purportedly left her in a more serious physical state, requiring constant assistance and leaving her with the inability to perform regular daily activities, such as bathing or walking. The woman was able to have all of her medical expenses covered by the financial assistance and received close to $88,000 for the time she was reportedly unable to work.

A private investigator was eventually hired to look into suspected fraudulent workers' compensation claims. The investigation discovered the nurse dining, shopping and walking distances without assistance or apparent pain. She was also observed moving heavy planters at home. The nurse was convicted on charges of fraud and perjury and sentenced to three years behind bars and three years of supervised probation. A California company that suspects a staff member is making fraudulent workers' compensation claims has the option to seek legal assistance as it pursues justice.

Source: utsandiego.com, "Nurse sentenced in workers' compensation fraud", Dana Littlefield, Nov. 25, 2014

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