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News: 2014 Press Release
For Release: March 13, 2014
Media Calls Only: 916-492-3566
Semi-truck mechanic arrested for workers' comp fraud after video evidence reveals him performing strenuous activities
LOS ANGELES, Calif. - Jose Fabian Ruiz, 61 of Los Angeles, is in custody and charged with multiple felony counts including allegedly filing a fraudulent insurance claim. Video surveillance revealed that Ruiz continued physically demanding work on a side job while receiving more than $150,000 in workers' compensation benefits after claiming an allegedly debilitating lower back injury which supposedly prevented him from working.
"I find Ruiz's actions reprehensible," said California Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones. "Not only did he attempt to cheat the system, but lies like his are the very reason that premiums rise as insurers are forced to pass the cost of fraud onto consumers."
In response to a complaint, the Department of Insurance opened an investigation and interviewed Ruiz on two occasions. In both interviews Ruiz stated that his injury left him unable to lift more than ten pounds, and resulted in a limited range of motion, preventing him from performing parts of his job, such as climbing into big rig trucks.
Department investigators obtained surveillance footage that showed Ruiz working on large trucks and showed him performing his regular work like, working on large trucks with a full range of motion. Two independent medical experts reviewed the video and both determined that Ruiz was not impaired by any major injury nor was he functioning with any significant level of pain.
Ruiz was arrested February 27, 2014 by department investigators. He is currently being held on $80,000 bail at the Lynwood Detention Center.
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The California Department of Insurance, established in 1868, is the largest consumer protection agency in California, regulating the $123 billion insurance marketplace. In 2013 the California Department of Insurance received more than 170,000 calls from consumers and helped recover over $63 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 or 213.897.8921. Telecommunications Devices for the Deaf (TDD), please dial 800.482.4833.