Pomona man and ex-wife arrested for workers' compensation insurance fraud
News: 2015 Press Release
LOS ANGELES, Calif. - Detectives from the California Department of Insurance arrested Gonzalo Sandoval, 51, and his ex-wife Socorro Lopez, 65, of Paramount, on multiple felony counts of workers' compensation fraud including making a false claim to obtain compensation and attempted perjury.
Lopez allegedly submitted fraudulent claims close to $100,000 for in-home health care services she claimed she provided to Sandoval years after he injured his back at work. The couple both testified that the claims were true, although video footage taken of Sandoval contradicted the testimony.
"Insurance fraud is a multi-billion dollar enterprise in California. Sandoval and Lopez didn't just cheat their insurer; all Californians end up paying the real price for workers' compensation fraud through higher premiums as those costs are passed on to consumers," said Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones. "Thanks to the hard work of department detectives, these scammers are behind bars and can no longer take advantage of the systems in place to help those who really need them."
In 2000, Sandoval sustained a work related injury to his back. In 2012, Sandoval's ex-wife Socorro Lopez filed a lien with the Workers' Compensation Appeals Board against Liberty Mutual Insurance Company for $47,500 claiming she provided home health care services for Sandoval from 2010 to 2012. After filing the lien, Lopez and Sandoval both provided sworn statements regarding the home health care services performed. Video footage obtained by Liberty Mutual showed Sandoval performing activity that contradicted their testimony. A year later, in 2013, Lopez submitted an additional invoice to Liberty Mutual in the amount of $85,440 for services she provided from 2010 to 2013. Lopez received $41,000 she was not owed.
Sandoval was booked at the Inmate Reception Center in Los Angeles and Lopez was booked at Century Regional Detention Facility in Lynwood. Their bail is set at $30,000 each and both individuals are facing five years in state prison if convicted.
This case is being prosecuted by the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office.
- Gonzalo Sandoval's arrest photo.
- Socorro Lopez's arrest photo.
- Sandoval and Lopez each were charged on two felony counts of making false claims to obtain compensation and attempted perjury.
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 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.