Workers' Comp Fraud Blotter (8/14/2014) – YouTube Videos Of Beauty Pageant Contestant In High Heels Fractured Her Workers’ Comp Foot Injury Claim

Workers' Comp Fraud Blotter (8/14/2014) – YouTube Videos Of Beauty Pageant Contestant In High Heels Fractured Her Workers’ Comp Foot Injury Claim


Workers' Comp Fraud Blotter – August 14, 2014

YouTube Videos Of Beauty Pageant Contestant In High Heels Fractured Her Workers’ Comp Foot Injury Claim (CA) – Shawna Lynn Palmer has been charged with workers' compensation fraud after video evidence showed her participating in the 2014 Miss Toyota Long Beach Grand Prix beauty contest. Palmer claimed to have fractured a toe on her left foot while working as a clerk at Stater Brothers. During multiple doctor visits she claimed that she could not place any weight on her foot, could not move it in any direction, or wear a shoe for any length of time. Palmer stated that she was not able to work due to her foot injury. While collecting workers' compensation benefits, Palmer participated in at least two beauty contests wearing high heels and walking without any signs of discomfort. Video was posted on YouTube of Palmer as a contestant and she posted photos of herself on her Facebook page.   Read more

Restaurant Owner Kept Cooking and Serving In Spite Of Stop Work Order (FL) – Maria Chrissanthidis, the owner of the Greek Flame Taverna restaurant, has been charged with felony workers’ compensation fraud. She is alleged to have operated the restaurant with lapsed workers’ compensation insurance, and to have continued to remain open for business after a stop work order was issued because of the lack of insurance.   Read more

Bank Manager With Fake Bomb Now Charged With Fake Workers’ Compensation Claim (CA) – Aurora Barrera has been arrested for allegedly submitting a fraudulent workers' compensation claim for treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder, from a robbery that she assisted in staging at the Bank of America branch where she was an assistant bank manager. Barrera claimed that she was held hostage by two men, strapped to a bomb, and forced to remove money from the bank vault. The bomb squad determined the device strapped to Barrera was just a flashlight that was wrapped in electrical tape. Two days after the robbery, Barrera submitted a fake workers' compensation claim for post-traumatic stress disorder and collected $35,573 in fraudulent benefits. She has already been convicted of bank robbery with her boyfriend accomplice.   Read more

Correction Officer Suspended After Arrest For Workers’ Compensation Fraud (NY) – Lea Vasquez has been arrested and charged with offering a false instrument for filing and grand larceny. She has been suspended from her position as a correction officer at the Downstate Correctional Facility, where she allegedly submitted a false instrument in regards to a workers’ compensation claim.   Read more

Packing Plant Undocumented Workers Plead Not Guilty To Workers’ Compensation Fraud and Identity Theft (FL) – 105 employees at the Fruit Dynamics packing plant who have been arrested for identity theft and workers’ compensation fraud have pled not guilty. The investigation began when a former employee who was seeking medical attention for an on the job injury admitted to using a fake identity to gain employment and suggested that many of his former co-workers had done the same. The attorney for 64 of the arrested employees stated that if employees used false identification, they could not receive workers’ compensation benefits if hurt at work.   Read more

Irrigation Foreman Sentenced to Probation For Double-Dipping and Identity Theft (CA) ) – Jorge Silva has been sentenced to felony probation for seven years and eight months and has been ordered to pay restitution of $73,000.33 in fraudulent workers’ compensation and disability benefits, After Silva lost his job as an irrigation foreman at a cattle ranch because he was unable to renew his driver’s license, he claimed that he had received cumulative injuries during his twenty years of employment at the ranch. Although he stated under oath that he was not working, investigators found him working at another ranch. In addition, he received state disability benefits by using a Social Security number that belonged to someone else.   Read more

Postal Worker Said She Could Not Work, Then Took A Cruise and Headed To Disneyland (TN) – Carol Pazder has pled guilty to providing false statements, and her husband, Richard Pazder, has pled guilty to aiding and abetting in the false statements. They will both serve six months of house arrest. The Pazders previously worked for the U.S. Postal Service, where Carol Pazder claimed false injuries. She and her husband said the injuries were so painful that she could not work and was only able to walk, stand or sit for a few minutes at a time. The Pazders were subsequently caught on videotape taking a cruise, where they disembarked at three ports of call and walked for hours at a time. They were also caught taking a trip to Disneyland.   Read more

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.

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