California workers who suffer injuries on the job can file legitimate workers’ compensation claims to obtain benefits that can help pay medical bills and replace lost wages. However, many employers find themselves seeking defense against employee fraud when a worker who claims to have been injured at work was actually injured in the private sector, or wasn’t even injured at all. In such situations, employers have the right to investigate the issues and defend themselves against frivolous claims.
In a recent incident, a former deputy from a county sheriff’s department filed a claim stating that he injured his bicep while closing a filing cabinet at work. His employer received information from one of the man’s co-workers that led the department to believe the man’s injury had occurred during an off-duty softball game. An investigation was launched and evidence collected that proved the man had gone to a hospital emergency room for treatment of his injury when it occurred at the game.
Investigators also uncovered video film and text messages that apparently transpired during the softball game. The man has since been sentenced to 120 days in county jail, though he was permitted to serve that time outside a jail cell through an electronic monitoring system. The court also ordered him to pay nearly $23,000 in restitution for workers’ compensation benefits he fraudulently received.
Employee fraud often costs taxpayers and employers substantial amounts of money. A concerned employer in California can take immediate action against a suspected false claim by contacting an attorney to investigate the situation. Misrepresenting an injury or exaggerating a claim is often grounds for criminal charges against a worker. An experienced lawyer can help protect an employer’s business interests and seek justice against those who attempt to defraud the system.
Source: kron4.com, “Ex Santa Clara Co. deputy gets jail time in workers’ comp fraud case“, Feb. 24, 2016