It’s not unheard of when employees in Los Angeles and all across California file a…
Every time you hear about a workers’ compensation fraud case, you probably wonder, “Is it even possible to pull it off? Collecting money you’re not eligible for while NOT working – wouldn’t it be awesome?”
You may be surprised, but some experts estimate that nearly 10% of all workers’ compensation claims in the U.S. are fraudulent or false. Some employees who illegally collect money from their employer get caught and face serious legal consequences. Others, meanwhile, get away with it.
A retired Los Angeles Police Department civilian employee named Gerald Pulley belongs in the first category. The retired LAPD employee has recently been arrested on suspicion of workers’ compensation fraud.
Today, our Los Angeles workers compensation attorney is going to review Pulley’s case and highlight what types of workers’ comp fraud exist in the U.S.sni
The LAPD’s Workers’ Compensation Fraud Unit (yep, there’s an entire unit that investigates suspicious workers’ comp cases) ordered Pulley’s arrest after its investigation revealed that the retired LAPD worker not only concealed material documentation, but also exaggerated the severity of his injuries.
The workers’ comp fraud unit also claims that it has found evidence of Pulley maintaining secondary employment during the time of his temporary disability, when he was receiving workers’ comp benefits.
Pulley had worked for the LAPD for nearly two decades. The retired LAPD civilian employee was mainly working with documents, as he was part of the Records and Identification Division within the police department.
If the court proves that Pulley indeed filed a fraudulent workers’ compensation claim, he may be charged with a felony-level crime. For now, the retired LAPD employee was released on $20,000 bail.
Criminal consequences for workers’ compensation fraud include up to one year in county prison (misdemeanor) or from two to five years in California state prison (felony).
Additionally, if the court proves that your workers’ comp claim was fraudulent or false, and that you have been collecting workers’ comp benefits you weren’t eligible for, you’ll face a fine of $150,000 or two times the total amount of your claim.
The court may also order restoration of the funds that you have illegally taken from the employer and insurance companies.
But exaggerating the severity of your injuries, as seen in the retired LAPD employee’s case, is not the only way workers in Los Angeles attempt to receive workers’ comp benefits they are not entitled to.
LA employees also make up injuries or illnesses out of whole cloth to illegally obtain financial compensation.
An employee may attempt to file a workers’ comp claim alleging he/she has suffered an injury, when, in fact, he or she didn’t suffer an injury and can still work.
Also, it’s not uncommon for employees to commit workers’ compensation fraud by claiming that their injuries or illnesses occurred in the workplace, when, in fact, it was a nonwork-related injury or illness.
Our best workers compensation attorneys in Los Angeles at Koszdin, Fields, Sherry& Katz explain that only on-the-job injuries and illnesses are eligible for workers’ comp benefits.
Similarly, using your old injury that resurfaces during your employment – and claiming that the injury was caused by your current job – is considered workers’ compensation fraud.
If you’ve been accused of workers’ compensation fraud while collecting workers comp benefits you’re TRULY eligible for, hiring a workers compensation attorney in Los Angeles is your best line of defense.
Consult our attorneys at Koszdin, Fields, Sherry & Katz to get a free consultation about filing a workers’ compensation claim or proving that your injuries were caused by workplace conditions or occurred on-the-job.