Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Employee Receives Four Month Jail Sentence In Workers' Compensation Fraud Case And Is Ordered To Pay Restitution And Investigation Costs

This is an update on the September 25, 2009 post regarding the prosecution of employee Armando Landa for one count of felony workers' compensation fraud in Ventura County Superior Court. On October 21, 2009, Mr. Landa was sentenced pursuant to a plea agreement (1) to serve 120 days in jail, (2) placed on 60 months formal probation, (3) ordered to pay $28,723 in restitution to Intercare Holdings Insurance Services, and (4) ordered to pay $10,000 to the California Department of Insurance, Fraud Division, for investigative costs.

The facts relating to this case were as follows. On May 4, 2007, while working at Chicago For Ribs in Ventura, Mr. Landa filed 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.

The prosecution, plea agreement and sentence followed. There was no indication whether any restitution was paid prior to the plea agreement or sentence. In Ventura County, the sentences tend to be longer than in other counties. However, we are seeing a trend of longer sentences in white collar cases such as workers' compensation fraud cases. Restitution, however, tends to be an important factor in the resolution of these cases. Just as the criminal prosecutions of employers have increased, so has the prosecution of employees.

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


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