Workers’ compensation insurance is an important safety blanket for workers in the case of being injured while on the job. Benefits can provide income for a worker who has suffered an injury that prevents him or her from earning money in California. However, if a worker has sufficiently recovered from an injury the person is obliged to report that he or she is healthy enough to be able to work and earn income. Failure to do so can result in charges of employee fraud.
One worker is now facing this situation after being arrested and charged with workers’ compensation fraud. The 52-year-old worker was arrested along with a 36-year-old woman who had allegedly aided the worker in defrauding his employer. The man was charged with three felonies and one misdemeanor. The woman was charged with two felonies, according to police reports released to the public.
The man had apparently been severely injured after being electrocuted while at work. Investigators discovered that the man had submitted more than $40,000 in invoices for personal and in-home health care services he had claimed to receive due to injuries resulting from the work accident. However, investigators have determined that these invoices were fraudulent and that the worker had never received the services. Apparently, the woman who was arrested was submitting the fraudulent invoices to the insurance company in order to obtain benefits paid to the injured worker.
Investigators had also discovered that the man had lied about the severity of his injury. He had apparently been operating his own landscaping company while also receiving benefits from workers compensation at the same time. This scheme had allegedly been going on for several years.
This is the type of situation that an employer should be wary about in California. Workers committing employee fraud to obtain workers’ compensation benefits can be quite costly for employers. This is why employers must always be vigilant in detecting suspicious behavior from injured workers.
Source: savannahnow.com, “Rincon pair arrested and charged with workers’ compensation insurance fraud”, Effingham Now, April 21, 2015