On January 14th, 2021, the Special Investigative Unit of RJN Investigations, Inc. was notified of the successful prosecution in the case of People of California v P. Lieber as to felony workers’ compensation fraud in violation of Insurance Code section 1871.4(a). The claimant was sentenced to 90 days in jail and 24 months of felony probation. Additionally, he was ordered to pay $100,000 in restitution and $30,000 in fines. The court also ordered multiple financial accounts controlled by the claimant, that were previously frozen, to be liquidated to satisfy its order. In this particular case, the claimant was employed as a firefighter with the County of Ventura, who alleged that he sustained injuries as a result of a work-related accident occurring back on February 3rd, 2019. After five months of medical treatment, there was no noted improvement, and the claimant informed his treating doctor that he was still “crippled by the pain.” The claims examiner then proactively authorized the RJN SIU to initiate surveillance measures. In the course of this surveillance, extensive video evidence was secured depicting the claimant performing a wide variety of physical activities including working out at the gym, utilizing weights and a stationary bicycle. Additional surveillance then found the claimant to be engaged in physical activities such as paddle boarding. While performing all of the activities captured during the surveillance level investigation, the claimant was receiving his full salary while out on disability. During a deposition, the claimant made several material misrepresentations under the penalty of perjury that directly contradicted his activities captured on videotape. As the SIU level investigation continued, social media research established evidence that the claimant was also working as a personal trainer. The overall cost of this claim to the County of Ventura exceeded $180,000.00. After being arrested, and attending multiple court hearings, the claimant subsequently admitted that he made false material statements for the purpose of obtaining disability and other benefits to which he was not entitled to. A hearing relating to additional restitution still owed to the victim agencies is scheduled for March 4th, 2021, at 9:00 a.m. in courtroom 26 of the Ventura County Superior Court.
ABOUT R.J.N. SIU:
Formed in 1996, the 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 3,750 examiners and the documented referrals by this unit have resulted in over 200 convictions for workers’ compensation insurance fraud in California. In just the last 3 years we have secured $ 685,599.00 in court ordered restitution on behalf of our valued clients.