News: 2010 Press Release
For Release: May 7, 2010
Media Calls Only: 916-492-3566
Commissioner Poizner Announces Arrest of Mountain View Man for Alleged Working While Receiving Insurance Payments for Work-Related Injury
Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner announced the self-surrender of a Mountain View man in connection with suspected workers' compensation insurance fraud. Christopher Ludlow, 30, was booked today at the San Mateo County Jail for one felony count of insurance fraud for not reporting income while receiving workers' compensation benefits.
"Collecting disability checks when you are not disabled is fraud," said Commissioner Poizner. "Do not try to skirt the law in order to earn an extra paycheck, or you will get caught."
An investigation conducted by the California Department of Insurance and the San Mateo County District Attorney's Office revealed Ludlow's alleged fraud. Ludlow worked as a plumber for Boudreau Plumbing and Heating in Redwood City CA. On July 6, 2007, Ludlow injured his back while crawling under a residence. A workers' compensation claim was submitted to Farmers Insurance (Farmers). Ludlow stopped working on doctor's orders, and Farmers began compensating him while he was recuperating and not working. This monetary benefit - Temporary and Total Disability (TTD) - is designed to provide income while the injured employee recuperates. Ludlow received bi-weekly payments from Farmers. The insurance checks to Ludlow included a warning to notify Farmers if he returned to work and or received any additional income.
While Ludlow was receiving TTD payments, customers and former employees allege he was working for, and being compensated by, Boudreau Plumbing. An investigation confirmed those allegations.
The investigation revealed that Ludlow received more than $43,000 in TTD benefits from Farmers. It is estimated Ludlow received more than $10,000 from Boudreau Plumbing in additional income that was not reported to Farmers Insurance.
The case is being prosecuted by the San Mateo County District Attorney's Office.
Commissioner Poizner oversees sixteen CDI Enforcement Branch regional offices throughout the state. Nearly 2,800 insurance fraud-related arrests have been made by CDI since Commissioner Poizner took office in 2007 - more arrests than have been made during any other three year period, under any previous insurance commissioner.
Please visit the Department of Insurance Web site at www.insurance.ca.gov. Non media inquiries should be directed to the Consumer Hotline at 800.927.HELP. Callers from out of state, please dial 213.897.8921. Telecommunications Devices for the Deaf (TDD), please dial 800.482.4833.
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