Daly City electrician sentenced for workers’ compensation insurance fraud
News: 2020 Press Release
SAN MATEO, Calif. — Michael Ray Williams, 37, of Daly City, was sentenced to 60 days in county jail and three years formal probation after pleading no contest to two felony counts of insurance fraud after illegally working for multiple employers while simultaneously collecting over $85,000 in workers' compensation benefits from two different insurers. Williams repaid the State Compensation Insurance Fund (SCIF) $40,000 in restitution and was ordered to pay additional restitution to Travelers Insurance and his former employer.
“When employees file false workers’ compensation claims, they cost Californians millions of dollars every year in higher premiums,” said Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara. “The actions in this case took advantage of a system designed to help honest workers injured on the job. Thanks to the hard work by the Department of Insurance and the San Mateo County District Attorney's Office this fraudster has been brought to justice.”
In November 2014, Williams was working as an electrician when he sustained a work-related injury. He filed a workers' compensation claim with SCIF and began collecting temporary workers' compensation benefits.
An investigation by the California Department of Insurance revealed that in March 2015, Williams began working for a different employer, yet allegedly continued to collect payments from SCIF. In May 2015, Williams sustained another work-related injury and filed another workers' compensation claim, this time with Travelers Insurance. Between March 2015 and November 2016, Williams allegedly worked for and was paid by three different employers. At one point, Williams was collecting payments from SCIF and Travelers for two different work-related injuries, while continuing to work.
To fraudulently collect benefits, William allegedly misrepresented his level of injury, abilities, earnings and employment status to SCIF and medical providers, including providing false statements to his Qualified Medical Examiner to collect permanent disability benefits after the temporary benefits were exhausted. Williams was also charged with grand theft for allegedly using his former employer's credit card for personal expenses, including the purchase of an engagement ring.
This case was being prosecuted by the San Mateo County District Attorney's Office.
Led by Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara, the California Department of Insurance is the consumer protection agency for the nation's largest insurance marketplace and safeguards all of the state’s consumers by fairly regulating the insurance industry. Under the Commissioner’s direction, the Department uses its authority to protect Californians from insurance rates that are excessive, inadequate, or unfairly discriminatory, oversee insurer solvency to pay claims, set standards for agents and broker licensing, perform market conduct reviews of insurance companies, resolve consumer complaints, and investigate and prosecute insurance fraud. Consumers are urged to call 1-800-927-4357 with any questions or contact us at www.insurance.ca.gov via webform or online chat. Non-media inquiries should be directed to the Consumer Hotline at 800-927-4357. Teletypewriter (TTY), please dial 800-482-4833.