Friday, September 25, 2009

Employee Pleads Guilty To Workers' Compensation Fraud In Ventura County After Testifying Falsely In Deposition

On September 10, 2009, Armando Landa (DOB 02/06/68) pleaded guilty to one count of felony workers' compensation fraud. The California Department of Insurance, Fraud Division, investigated the case. The facts alleged by the Ventura County District Attorney's Office were as follows. On May 4, 2007, while working at Chicago Ribs in Ventura , Mr. Landa brought a workers' compensation claim following an alleged injury to his right elbow. He received treatment for his injury and was granted leave from work. From May 25, 2007, to August 13, 2008, Mr. Landa was given tax-free, bi-weekly checks for living expenses, totaling $30,651.

On December 19, 2007, while still off work and receiving benefits, Mr. Landa obtained employment as a bus boy at Teppan's Steak House in Oxnard. At a deposition, under oath, Mr. Landa denied working anywhere since the time of his injury, despite the fact that he was working at Teppan's Steak House at the time of the deposition. Mr. Landa's conduct and false statement constituted fraud. Mr. Landa will be sentenced on October 20, 2009, at 1:30 in courtroom 12 in Ventura County Superior Court. The maximum sentence is five years in state prison although the sentence was probably determined by the plea agreement.

Attorney Commentary: The local district attorney's office are continuing to be aggressive in prosecuting workers who are not truthful in their depositions about their work-related injuries. On the one hand, workers' compensation fraud costs employers and businesses significant sums in higher premiums. On the other hand, the economy, financial pressures and the lack of health insurance are causing workers to exaggerate claims and deny working during depositions.

A felony charge can jeopardize an employee's future work opportunities. The best time to defend a workers' compensation fraud case is before charges are filed. Workers and their attorneys should be mindful of the fact that these cases are now being prosecuted and there no longer appears to be any reluctance in filing charges for small cases. The DA's Offices and the California Department of Insurance are also publicizing these cases in order to deter others from committing workers' compensation fraud.

Posted by Tracy Green. Any questions or comments should be directed to: Tracy Green is a principal at Green and Associates in Los Angeles, California. They focus their practice on the representation of licensed professionals, individuals and businesses in civil, business, administrative and criminal proceedings. They have handled numerous workers' compensation fraud cases representing individuals, businesses, medical providers and attorneys. The firm website is


DISCLAIMER: Green & Associates' articles and blog postings are prepared as a service to the public and are not intended to grant rights or impose obligations. Nothing in this website should be construed as legal advice. Green & Associates' articles and blog postings may contain references or links to statutes, regulations, or other policy materials. The information provided is only intended to be a general summary. It is not intended to take the place of either the written law or regulations. We encourage readers to review the specific statutes, regulations, and other interpretive materials for a full and accurate statement of their contents and contact their attorney for legal advice. The primary purpose of this website is not the commercial advertisement or promotion of a commercial product or service and this website is not an advertisement or solicitation. Anyone viewing this web site in a state where the web site fails to comply with all laws and ethical rules of that state, should disregard this web site.

The information provided on this website is for informational purposes only. It is not intended to create, and does not create, a lawyer-client relationship with Green & Associates, Attorneys at Law. Sending an e-mail to Tracy Green does not contractually obligate them to represent you as your lawyer, or create any type of client relationship. No attorney-client relationship will be formed absent a written engagement or retainer letter agreement signed by both Green & Associates and client and which specifies the scope of the engagement.

Please note that e-mail transmission is not secure unless it is encrypted. E-mail messages sent to Ms. Green should not include confidential or sensitive information.