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News: 2012 Press Release
For Release: October 9, 2012
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Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones Announces Arrest Of Los Angeles County Educator For Workers' Compensation Insurance Fraud
Para-Educator Allegedly files Fraudulent Claim after Breaking up Fight
Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones today announced that Gerard Padilla, 45, an employee of the Los Angeles County Office of Education has been arrested and charged with five felony counts of workers' compensation insurance fraud. Padilla was arrested by Detectives with the California Department of Insurance (CDI) Fraud Division with the assistance of Officers from the Los Angeles County Probation Department. He was booked at the Los Angeles County Sheriff Department's Lancaster Station with bail set at $120,000.
According to CDI detectives, while employed by the Los Angeles County Office of Education as a Para-Educator (teaching assistant), Padilla filed a workers' compensation claim alleging he injured his back while helping break up a physical altercation in a classroom. At the time of the claim Padilla was assigned to the Antelope Valley Principle Administrative Unit. However, the investigation discovered that Padilla was not injured at work and in addition, he did not offer any proof of injury unrelated to work.
Detectives learned that on March 30, 2009, Padilla was seen by a physician for an initial medical evaluation. He again stated he was hurt while breaking up the fight at school. On April 15, 2009 Padilla provided false statements regarding the injury to a private investigator that was contracted to conduct an investigation into Padilla's alleged injury. On December 3, 2009, during a deposition, Padilla allegedly provided false testimony regarding the injury. The investigation concluded that Padilla fabricated the story about being injured while breaking up a fight at work, and then he allegedly lied to both doctors and investigators.
Padilla has been charged with five felony counts: four counts for violating Insurance Code Section 1871.4 (A) (1), Workers' Compensation Insurance Fraud; and one count for violating Penal Code Section 664-118(A), Attempted Perjury. If convicted on all counts, he could face up to five years in State Prison.
This case was prosecuted by the Los Angeles County District Attorney.
The California Department of Insurance, established in 1868, is the largest consumer protection agency in California, regulating the $123 billion insurance marketplace. In 2012 the California Department of Insurance received more than 160,000 calls from consumers and helped recover over $64 million in claims and premiums. 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. Out-of-state callers, please dial 213.897.8921. Telecommunications Devices for the Deaf (TDD), please dial 800.482.4833.
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