All California workers who suffer workplace injuries are entitled to pursue workers’ compensation benefits claims. Unfortunately, employee fraud is prevalent, and it is not uncommon for employees to exaggerate legitimate injuries or make claims for non-existent injuries. Filing fraudulent workers’ compensation claims is illegal, and employers have the right to take actions against such conduct.
A 55-year-old man who spent many years working as a counselor with the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation was recently sentenced for criminal charges including workers’ compensation fraud. According to court documents, the man claimed that his 24 years in the prison system and multiple fights and altercations with inmates had caused so much pain that he was unable to walk, sit or sleep without suffering. He convinced doctors that his injuries caused him to be disabled.
It was reported that the jury watched videos of the man playing sports, working out, moving appliances and even playing a part in a theatre production. Testimony at his trial revealed that he received over $50,000 in workers’ compensation benefits. He was sentenced to six months behind bars followed by five years of probation. In addition, another hearing in January will determine the amount of restitution he will have to pay.
Company owners in California may benefit from retaining the services of an experienced attorney who focuses on protecting the interests of employers against employee fraud. A lawyer can educate employers on the methods that are used by employees to defraud the workers’ compensation system. Learning how to identify fraudulent claims will ultimately have a positive effect on workers’ compensation premiums and the company’s profits.
Source: dailyrepublic.com, “Workers’ comp fraud gets man 6 months“, Jess Sullivan, Nov. 11, 2015