Fraud in the LAPD – North Carolina Workers’ Compensation Experts Weigh In

October 14, 2010, by Michael A. DeMayo

Last week, LAPD Officer Robert Yanez got arrested at police headquarters in downtown L.A. for workers’ comp fraud – provoking a lively debate among policy analysts and other North Carolina workers’ compensation experts. The 38-year-old officer got hurt in October 2008 on the job. After being ordered back to work by his doctor, he allegedly switched physicians and forged/altered his doctor’s notes to continue getting payments.

All told, the 11-year-veteran LAPD officer allegedly did this multiple times – he got charged with six total counts – and cost his department around $7,000. Officer Yanez was held at the Men’s Central Jail in downtown L.A. on $30,000 bail. If convicted, he could face seven years behind bars. According to a statement from the LA County DA’s Division of Healthcare Fraud, investigators discovered “probable cause to believe that Officer Yanez had received benefits to which he was not entitled.” According to news reports, the LA Police Officers Union is not representing him in this case, and Officer Yanez is on home duty until the investigation finishes.

North Carolina workers’ compensation
fraud – and workers’ comp fraud throughout the US – drains millions of dollars from the system and creates problems not only for insurance companies and employers but also for employees who have legitimate claims. The workers’ comp system is designed to help legitimately hurt or ill people make ends meet until they can recover. Unfortunately, a few bad apples do take advantage of the system and even resort to explicitly fraudulent activities (such as doctoring a doctor’s note) to avoid having to go back to work.

In response to fraud cases like this one, insurance companies may put in place more cumbersome screening procedures; employers may get more suspicious of workers who make any claims; and injured employees may find it more challenging to make the system work for them.

If you have been unfairly charged with fraud – or if you are dealing with some other issue with your benefits – such as an employer not paying a legitimate claim or an insurance company gumming up your claim by stalling or using bullying tactics – you may benefit significantly from a free consultation with a North Carolina workers’ compensation law firm. Smart attorneys and their associates – who understand the system and the law – can reduce your level of uncertainty and stress and steer you on a course to maximize your recovery and maximize your benefits.

More Web Resources

Veteran LAPD officer accused of workers’ compensation fraud

LAPD officer accused of workers’ comp fraud