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CA Department of Insurance
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CA Department of Insurance

Brawley woman sentenced for disability insurance fraud

News: 2018 Press Release

For Release: April 27, 2018
Media Calls Only: 916-492-3566
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Brawley woman sentenced for disability insurance fraud
More than $100,000 in restitution ordered

IMPERIAL COUNTY, Calif. — Teresa Baker, 60, was sentenced yesterday in Imperial County Superior Court to 30 days in jail, 60 days home detention, three years formal probation, and ordered to pay restitution of $124,029 after fraudulently collecting monthly payments on disability insurance while working full-time at three different employers.

"Thanks to our hard working detectives another fraudster has been brought to justice," said Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones."We will continue to work with our district attorney partners to aggressively investigate and prosecute those who try and game the system."

Baker claimed an injury to her back in October of 1998 after a fall while employed by Valley Independent Bank in El Centro. Due to the alleged injury, Baker claimed to the insurer, she was unable to work. The California Department of Insurance launched an investigation after receiving a referral from the Standard Insurance Company claiming that Baker had been working from May 2007 through October 2013 while collecting disability benefits.

The investigation revealed that Baker collected more than $100,000 in disability payments she was not entitled to. During this same time, Baker worked for the Brawley Public Scales, Sun Community Federal Credit Union, and the Brawley School District as a substitute teacher. Baker was arrested on June 30, 2017 and subsequently pleaded guilty to one felony count of insurance fraud on January 4, 2018. This case was prosecuted by the Imperial County District Attorney's Office.

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. Teletypewriter (TTY), please dial 800-482-4833.

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