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CA Department of Insurance

Former Bridezilla arrested for felony insurance fraud

News: 2014 Press Release

For Release: December 10, 2014
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Former Bridezilla arrested for felony insurance fraud
False workers’ comp claims lead to more than $40,000 overpayment

LOS ANGELES, Calif. -Anita Maxwell, 55, surrendered herself to the Superior Court of California, Division 30 in Los Angeles County yesterday on 14 felony counts associated with insurance fraud. A California Department of Insurance investigation revealed that Maxwell, featured in season four of the reality series "Bridezillas", allegedly submitted fraudulent documents and made false claims to receive more than $40,000 in undeserved workers' compensation benefits.

"Taking advantage of the workers' compensation system is not only illegal, but costly to all Californians who pay for this fraud through higher premiums," said Commissioner Dave Jones. "These types of fraudulent claims are an insult to legitimately injured workers."

The department's investigation began in 2012 after Maxwell claimed she injured her neck, back, and shoulder while assisting a patient as a clinical partner. While out on workers' compensation, Maxwell lied to her doctor, denying she had prior injuries to her neck, back and shoulder. The investigation also revealed Maxwell had multiple prior injuries dating back to 1990. Prior to the 2012claim, Maxwell received $20,000 from similar workers' compensation claims. Upon learning of the prior injuries Maxwell's doctor said he would have changed the apportionment and disability amounts to reflect the past trauma, lowering her claim to only 25 percent related to her work injury.

In addition to lying about her injuries, Maxwell submitted false mileage forms for her supposed travel to and from doctors and physical therapy appointments. Surveillance conducted during the investigation showed Maxwell on more than a dozen occasions commuting to her appointments from a different location than the one she reported to her insurer. The fraudulent mileage forms submitted resulted in over $5,000 in undeserved mileage reimbursement.

This case will be prosecuted by the Los Angeles District Attorney's Office.

Media Notes:

The California Department of Insurance, established in 1868, is the largest consumer protection agency in California. Insurers collect $289 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 web site at 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.

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