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CA Department of Insurance

Bogus coffee burn photos lead to arrest of McDonald's customer for fraud

News: 2014 Press Release

For Release: November 10, 2014
Media Calls Only: 916-492-3566
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Bogus coffee burn photos lead to arrest of McDonald's customer for fraud

SAN BERNARDINO, Calif. - Selena Edwards, 38, of Victorville, was arrested and faces 21 felony counts of insurance and workers' compensation fraud, including submitting a fraudulent insurance claim, false statements, and false evidence associated with an alleged fraudulent claim against McDonald's for second-degree burns to her hand from spilled coffee.

"By copying legitimate burn photos from the internet, Edwards attempted to make a profit from another person's pain and suffering and for this she will be prosecuted to the full extent of the law," said Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones.

Edwards claimed that when she was handed a cup of coffee at a McDonald's drive-thru, the lid was not secured and the coffee spilled on her right hand. Edwards submitted an injury claim with photos of a hand with second-degree burns, but detectives discovered that some of the photos had been copied from a hospital website. In an attempt to exaggerate her injury, Edwards also submitted counterfeit documentation for treatment that she claimed to have received from a local hospital.

Edwards was released on her own recognizance and is scheduled Monday, November 10, 2014 to return to court for a preliminary hearing.

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Media Notes:

  • No booking photo available.

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 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.

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