Monday, August 10, 2009

San Bernardino Man Charged With Workers' Compensation Fraud, Giving False Statements During Deposition And Not Disclosing Prior Injuries

Criminal cases prosecuting individuals for exaggerating or fabricating injuries in workers' compensation cases continue to be filed. During economically difficult times, workers' compensation claims typically increase and the insurance companies and government respond by increasing their investigations.

On July 29, 2009, Jose Haro-Arriaga, a San Bernardino man, surrendered following the filing of nine felony counts related to workers' compensation fraud. Bail was set at $25,000. The felony complaint alleges that in December 2005, Haro-Arriaga filed a workers' compensation claim alleging an injury after two subjects stole a backpack leaf-blower he was wearing and operating during his employment as a landscape worker.

In the felony complaint, Haro-Arriaga is alleged to have misrepresented the facts of his industrial injury and presented false or fraudulent statements in support of his claim for compensation, in order to obtain benefits in excess of $39,000. In addition, Haro-Arriaga is alleged to have given false statements during a deposition, and willfully concealed and knowingly failed to disclose his prior industrial injuries.

Attorney Commentary: For employers, the prosecution of false, fraudulent or exaggerated injuries is welcome news. However, the workers' compensation system with its adversary system has caused exaggeration and misrepresentations on both sides (insurance companies and workers).

We urge attorneys and medical providers in the workers' compensation field to educate the applicants and employees of the perils of fabricating claims. Further, when the employees are arrested and charged, their defense may be that the attorney or physician knew that the claims were not legitimate or were exaggerated. The target of many of these investigations are the attorneys and doctors rather than the employees themselves.

Any questions or comments should be directed to: or 213-233-2260.

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 significant experience in defending individuals, health care providers, attorneys and businesses in workers' compensation fraud cases and investigations. Their website is:


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