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Fraudulent workers' compensation claims filed by California woman

When an employee is suspected of falsifying information, a business may need to protect itself from potential fraudulent workers' compensation claims. Business owners may look to professionals for help in an attempt to keep insurance premiums from rising. A middle-aged woman that was featured on the reality show "Bridezillas" recently appeared in a California courtroom accused of filing fraudulent workers' compensation claims after suspicion led to an investigation.

Reports indicate that the woman is charged with 14 felonies in connection with the fraud of which she is accused. Authorities claim that the woman collected over $40,000 in compensation benefits after filing false documents. The investigation that uncovered the suspected fraudulent activity began shortly after the woman claimed to have hurt her back, shoulder and neck while working.

Officials discovered that the victim had suffered similar injuries while working in the past and had collected thousands of dollars in benefits after those incidents as well. The physician treating the woman stated that if he had been aware of former injuries, the level of her benefit entitlement would have been reduced to reflect a pre-existing condition. Surveillance evidence also led officials to believe that the woman provided false reimbursement requests for time and mileage spent traveling to appointments.

This woman's court case is still ongoing, and it may be wise for employers to keep an eye on the proceedings. California business owners who suspect that an employee has filed fraudulent workers' compensation claims have the right to seek legal assistance in defending themselves against those claims. As all business owners know, workers' compensation claims can have consequences for businesses' bottom lines and can even affect future mergers or investment opportunities. 

Source: New York Daily News, "'Bridezillas' woman hit with charges of insurance fraud", Nancy Dillon, Dec. 10, 2014

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