By Staff Reports
(Victor Valley)– Workers’ compensation fraud is big business, and the San Bernardino County District Attorney Jason Anderson is committed to putting it out of business.The District Attorney has a team of attorneys and investigators specializing in the investigation and prosecution of this fraud.
“The District Attorney’s Office recognizes the harm done to our communities by workers’ compensation fraud,” D.A. Anderson said. “The only way to ensure economic health for our county is by vigilance against fraudulent and unfair exploitation.”
The Workers’ Compensation Fraud Unit, formed over 20 years ago, has made significant gains in reducing fraud. Criminal cases filed just in the last year had a total estimated fraud value that exceeded $125 million.
“Workers’ comp fraud hurts large and small companies and damages the business climate,” Supervisor Lovingood said. “So I thank District Attorney Anderson for his commitment to keep a focus on this problem.”
What kinds of crimes are prosecuted?
- Claimant Fraud – It may be a crime for an employee to lie about an injury, such as falsely claiming it to be work-related when it is not, exaggerating symptoms, or hiding pre-existing injuries.
- Denial of Benefits – It is a crime for an employer to lie to discourage an employee from filing a valid workers’ compensation claim. It is also a crime to not report an employee’s work-related injury to the insurance carrier.
- Premium Fraud – It is a crime for an employer to lie to the insurance carrier about the nature of their business or the type of work in which employees engage in order to lower, or keep low, insurance premiums.
- Medical Fraud – It is a crime for service providers (doctors, chiropractors, pharmacies, diagnostic services, interpreters, attorneys, etc.) to submit false or inflated billings to insurance companies.
- Uninsured Employers – It is a crime when an employer knowingly fails to carry workers’ compensation insurance covering employees.
To report workers’ comp fraud, contact the District Attorney’s Workers’ Compensation Fraud Unit at DAWorkersComp@sbcda.org or call (909) 891-3523. Service organizations interested in a guest speaker presentation on workers’ compensation fraud may contact the unit at the above email address.