Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. However, whether a workplace injury is legitimate is a more objective type of determination in California. It turns out one former beauty queen is finding this out the hard way. She just pleaded guilty to employee fraud and has been formally sentenced for committing workers compensation fraud.
Apparently, the former beauty queen had competed in several pageants while she received benefits via workers’ compensation for a fractured toe. The woman had reported that she suffered a fractured toe after working at a supermarket as a clerk in March 2014. During multiple visits to the doctor, the woman claimed she was not able to put any weight on her foot. She also claimed she was not able to wear a shoe for any significant amount of time.
However, investigators later discovered that the woman participated in at least two beauty pageants. She was required to wear high heels and walk without displaying any sign of discomfort. The woman was recently sentenced to serve 36 months of probation as well as 50 hours of community service. She was also ordered to pay $1,000 in fines and over $5,000 in restitution.
Employee fraud can cause significant financial problems for an employer in California. This can come in the form of unnecessary increases in insurance premiums. Therefore, it would be in the best interest of any employer to root out any possible workers’ compensation fraud committed by current or former employees. If a case of employee fraud is discovered, the employer will need to take the necessary legal actions in order to pursue recovery of any financial losses caused by the fraud.
Source: pe.com, “RIVERSIDE: Beauty queen pleads guilty to workers comp fraud“, Aaron Claverie, Sept. 5, 2015