Santa Barbara institutional officer arrested for illegally collecting more than $60,000 in workers' comp benefits
News: 2014 Press Release
SANTA BARBARA, Calif. -James Levice Davis Junious, 33, was arrested for allegedly collecting more than $60,000 in workers' compensation benefits he was not entitled to receive. Junious was charged with five felony counts including insurance fraud and grand theft.
"Workers' compensation fraud is a multi-billion dollar drain on our economy," said Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones. "In California, it costs insurers hundreds of millions of dollars every year in losses, which are then passed along to employers through higher premiums and ultimately to consumers through higher costs for goods and services."
In November 2012, Junious injured his elbow while performing his duties as a juvenile institutional officer. Five days later Junious was granted temporary disability, which he continued to collect until his arrest. In addition to his employment as an institutional officer, Junious owns and operates a landscaping business, College Students Lawn Service. Junious told his doctor and claims adjuster that he was not working or collecting any source of income from his business, but evidence showed that Junious was back to landscaping in April 2013 while collecting workers' comp benefits.
Department investigators found evidence that showed Junious lifting 60 pounds of stones, building a wall, laying sod, lifting and working with concrete blocks and numerous other tasks Junious claimed he could not perform. When the evidence was shown to the physician treating Junious for his injury, the physician stated that had Junious been honest about his recovery he would have returned him to light duty after he had surgery.
The total loss in this case amounted to more than $71,000 for collection of benefits and investigation costs. Santa Barbara Sheriff's Department made the arrest Monday. The case will be prosecuted by the Santa Barbara County District Attorney's office.
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The California Department of Insurance, established in 1868, is the largest consumer protection agency in California. Insurers collect $310 billion in premiums annually in California. Since 2011 the California Department of Insurance received more than 1,000,000 calls from consumers and helped recover over $469 million in claims and premiums. Please visit the Department of Insurance website at www.insurance.ca.gov. Non-media inquiries should be directed to the Consumer Hotline at 800.927.4357. Telecommunications Devices for the Deaf (TDD), please dial 800.482.4833.