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CA Department of Insurance
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CA Department of Insurance

Fresno construction worker charged with insurance fraud and perjury

News: 2021 Press Release

For Release: January 21, 2021
Media Calls Only: 916-492-3566
Email Inquiries: cdipress@insurance.ca.gov
Fresno construction worker charged with insurance fraud and perjury

FRESNO, Calif. — Jose Zepeda, 45, of Fresno, self-surrendered today on multiple felony counts of insurance fraud and attempted perjury after filing a workers’ compensation insurance claim and allegedly misleading the insurance carrier regarding his employment status in order to collect disability benefits he was not entitled to receive.

An investigation by the Department of Insurance revealed Zepeda was injured in August 2017 while employed by a local construction company. Zepeda began collecting disability benefits because his employer could not accommodate his work restrictions. The insurance company handling Zepeda’s workers’ compensation claim instructed him to notify them if he found new employment because that would affect the benefits he was receiving.

In July 2018, surveillance footage showed Zepeda regularly commuting to and from another construction company as an apparent employee. He was later asked by a claims adjuster, and in a deposition, if he found new employment. He told the claims adjuster he had not found new employment and responded in the deposition that he only worked for the new employer for one week in May 2018.

Subpoenaed employment records revealed Zepeda began working for his new employer in April 2018 and was still employed there at the time of the subpoena in March 2019. His actions allowed him to collect over $17,278 in disability benefits he was not entitled to receive.

Zepeda self-surrendered to the Fresno County Jail and is scheduled to be arraigned on March 15, 2021. The Fresno 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 $340 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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