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Canoga Park man arraigned for workers’ comp insurance fraud

News: 2020 Press Release

For Release: November 10, 2020
Media Calls Only: 916-492-3566
Email Inquiries: cdipress@insurance.ca.gov
Canoga Park man arraigned for workers’ comp insurance fraud

LOS ANGELES, Calif. — Alexander Cody Smith, 30, of Canoga Park was arraigned on three felony counts of workers’ compensation insurance fraud after allegedly misrepresenting past injuries to receive over $38,000 in undeserved medical treatments and temporary disability benefits from his employer’s insurance company.

Smith, while working for Engen Enterprises Inc., claimed he injured his back on March 16, 2018, as he was lifting a box. Over the course of his medical treatment, Smith complained of back pain to his treating physician and later added complaints of neck pain to the claim. According to his claim and his doctor’s medical report, Smith denied any previous injuries or complaints about his back, specifically to his thoracic or lumbar spine. 

An investigation by the California Department of Insurance revealed a history of medical complaints related to both Smith’s neck and back, which reportedly began in October 2015, according to subpoenaed records from his former health care provider and rehabilitation specialists. The records show Smith received medical treatment from February 25, 2017, through March 13, 2018, and according to the records, it was at this time Smith reported feeling depressed due to his pain. This was just three days prior to the date he claimed he got injured at work while lifting the box.

The Department’s investigation revealed Smith misrepresented the history of his prior back injuries. Smith’s actions were likely made in an attempt to continue treatment for his ongoing condition, which was not work-related. Smith provided false information regarding his prior existing issues, which resulted in excessive and unnecessary medical evaluations, treatments, and temporary disability benefits at a cost of $38,746 to his employer’s insurance company.

Smith was arrested on October 28, 2020 and arraigned on October 30, 2020. The Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office is prosecuting this case.

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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 www.insurance.ca.gov. 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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