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5 years ago · by · 0 comments

From Workers’ Comp To Prison System

This article was taken from: PropertyCasualty360.com

“Everything is not “coming up roses” for a Fontana, Calif. man who is facing workers’ compensation fraud and perjury charges.

Fifty-four-year-old Jose Cortez formerly earned a living as a gardener until Oct. 2010, when a large tree branch fell and landed on him during his shift for L. Barrios & Associates Landscaping. Cortez was then transported to a local hospital and sent home with “minor work restrictions.”

Although Cortez claimed the injuries sustained that day prevented him from completing his customary work duties, at least one person was not convinced. The following year, a tip aroused enough suspicion to initiate video surveillance of Cortez. During the course of the probe, insurance investigators observed Cortez carrying on as if it were business as usual. In fact, investigators documented at least six separate occasions when they saw him performing his normal duties as a gardener without any obvious signs of discomfort.

In Sept. 2012, investigators from the San Bernardino County District Attorney’s Office Workers’ Compensation Insurance Fraud Unit conducted a thorough criminal investigation, collecting surveillance footage allegedly incriminating Cortez, who was still collecting insurance benefits at the time.

“Mr. Cortez had previously stated that he was unable to perform the full range of his duties,” said Deputy District Attorney Scott Byrd, who is assigned to the case. “However, our investigation revealed that he had misrepresented the extent of his injuries and received more compensation than [to which] he was entitled.”

On Jan. 21, the prosecution filed criminal charges against Cortez, resulting in a felony arrest warrant being issued. Cortez was taken into custody outside his residence without incident by District Attorney Investigators. He was then transported and booked at the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s West Valley Detention Center. On Jan. 22, Cortez entered a plea of “not guilty” in San Bernardino Superior Court.

If convicted as charged, Cortez could enter a system far different from workers’ compensation—namely prison, where he could serve as many as eight years.

“This type of fraud is harmful because it causes premiums that businesses have to pay to go higher,” Byrd says. “It drains business profits, which in turn costs honest workers money in raises or other benefits that they may have been eligible to receive.”

Read more HERE!

For more information about Workers Compensation or to obtain a new policy, simply contact Scurich Insurance Services located in Watsonville, California today at 800-320-3666  and we will be happy to help you.

Scurich Insurance Services did not originally write this content

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5 years ago · by · 0 comments

A Great Way To Get A Quote!

Scurich Insurance Services

We at Scurich Insurance Services located in Watsonville, California, know how troublesome it can be when you apply for an insurance quote. That is why we have launched a program that will make applying for an insurance quote 10 times easier.

Simply visit our Happy Customer Follow-Up page and select the products and services you currently have as well as the ones that you need. Once you press submit we will receive your information and the products and services that you need and one of our agents will contact you!

It’s as easy as that! If you would like to speak with someone directly you can always contact us today at 800-320-3666. Don’t forget to spread this information with your family and friends.

If the link above for the Happy Customer Follow-Up page does not load please copy and paste this link into your browser:

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Scurich Insurance Services
Phone: (831) 661-5697
Fax: (831) 661-5741

Physical:
783 Rio Del Mar Blvd., Suite7,
Aptos, Ca 95003-4700

Mailing:
PO Box 1170
Watsonville, CA 95077-1170

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(831) 661-5697

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