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School police officer charged with multiple felonies, including work comp fraud, over faked carjacking

In recent employee fraud news, a Los Angeles school police officer is currently facing a variety of criminal charges, including workers' compensation fraud, for allegedly staging a carjacking and shooting.

According to the now-unsealed indictment handed up by a grand jury, Jeff Stenroos, 30, is facing five felony charges (insurance fraud, workers' compensation fraud, preparing a false police report, preparing false documentary evidence, planting false evidence) and one misdemeanor charge (falsely reporting an emergency).

The incident in question occurred on January 19 when a passerby spotted Stenroos, a Los Angeles Unified School District police officer, lying on the ground by his patrol car and called 911.

After responding units were informed that Stenroos had been shot in an attempted carjacking, over 550 officers launched a 10-hour manhunt spanning eight-square miles.

During this time, thousands of students in the area went on lockdown, meaning they were confined to their classrooms.

Law enforcement officials initially determined that Stenroos' body armor prevented serious or fatal injuries during the carjacking attempt. However, a subsequent investigation led these same officials to determine that the entire incident had been an elaborate hoax. Specifically, Stenroos had faked the shooting and planted evidence.

In addition to the aforementioned criminal charges, the city of Los Angeles is seeking to recover over $361,000 from Stenroos. Similarly, the school district is seeking restitution in the amount of $58,000 for medical expenses. (The school district is still adding up the expenses associated with the school lockdown and will likely seek that amount as well.)

If convicted on all of the charges, Stenroos could face nearly six years in prison. His bail was set at $50,000.

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.

This post was provided for informational purposes only and is not to be construed as legal advice. All suspects are considered innocent until proven guilty.

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

Related Resources:

Indictment in alleged LA school officer hoax (The San Jose Mercury News)

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