City Equipment Operator Takes A Plea for Insurance Fraud

On December 23rd, 2020, the Special Investigative Unit of RJN Investigations, Inc., was notified by the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office regarding the successful prosecution in the case of People of California vs. W. Hanke.

In this particular case, the claimant was employed as a City Equipment Operator who alleged to have suffered an upper extremity injury while working. In the course of the AOE/COE level investigation, it was determined that the claimant’s hobbies included riding off-road vehicles and boating. A subsequent surveillance investigation performed by the RJN SIU secured video of the claimant engaged in activities contradicting his statements to the treating doctor.

The examiner then secured medical documentation reflecting that the claimant was involved in an off-road vehicle accident just prior to his alleged workers’ compensation claim that resulted in emergency medical treatment to his upper extremities. The claimant was not truthful about the accident to the treating doctors, nor in his deposition taken under the penalty of perjury.

As such and in accordance with the regulations set forth by the California Department of Insurance, the case was formally referred by the RJN SIU to their Fraud Division as well as to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office Workers’ Compensation Fraud Unit. Upon completion of a criminal investigation, the claimant was formally charged with one felony count in violation of Insurance Code Section 1871.4(a)(1), one count in violation of Penal Code Section 664-118(a) and one count in violation of Penal Code Section 550(b)(3).

After attending several preliminary hearings, the claimant pled nolo contendere to one count in violation of Penal Code Section 550(b)(3). As a result of this plea, the remaining counts were dismissed. The claimant was sentenced to three years formal probation and ordered to pay restitution back to the City on the amount of $4,000.00.


Formed in 1996, the RJN SIU Division was created to assist California employers, small size insurance carriers and TPA firms in securing professional assistance so as to detect, investigate and prosecute insurance fraud. To date, the unit has trained well over 3,500 examiners and the documented referrals by this unit have resulted in 200 convictions for workers’ compensation insurance fraud in California. In just the past 3 years we have secured $ 585,599.00 in court ordered restitution on behalf of our valued clients.

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