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Each week we'll be surveying what the media, state agencies, insurance companies, and others report in terms of workers' comp fraud. Just like a police blotter, our workers' comp fraud blotter lists recent arrests, charges, convictions and investigations.
Workers' Comp Fraud Blotter - January 24, 2013
Former Postal Worker Pleads Guilty To Federal Workers Compensation Fraud (FL) - Jessy Paliyath Peter has pled guilty to theft of government funds and making a false statement to obtain federal workers' compensation. In 2000, Peter, who was then employed as a United States mail clerk, claimed that she had sustained an injury to her back. Later, she made application for and was approved to receive federal employees' compensation benefits. From 2003 to at least December 2012, Peter worked as a sales representative for Avon, Inc. and earned commissions on her sales. From February 2009 to at least December 2012, Peter exercised regularly at Lifestyle Family Fitness Center for an average of four to five days per week, typically for one to two hours per visit. Surveillance video revealed that she routinely and actively participated in group fitness classes and exercised on weight machines, consistently exceeding her medical restrictions. Read more
Gardener Pleads Not Guilty to Workers' Compensation Fraud and Perjury (CA) - Jose Cortez has pled not guilty at his arraignment on charges of workers' compensation fraud and perjury for misrepresenting his physical condition. Cortez was injured when a large tree branch fell on him while he was working as a gardener for L. Barrios & Associates Landscaping. Several months later, while receiving worker's compensation benefits, Cortez was caught six different times during video surveillance performing his normal duties as a gardener with no obvious signs of pain or discomfort, although he had reported that he could not perform his normal work duties because of his injury. Read more
District Attorney's Office Investigates Workers' Compensation Fraud, Including Fraud By Its Own Investigator (CA) - John Harding Swenning, an investigator for the Fresno County District Attorney's Office, has pled no contest to grand theft for improperly receiving workers' compensation benefits and has been ordered to pay almost $24,000 in restitution. Read more
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