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San Jacinto landscaper arraigned in alleged workers’ compensation scam

News: 2021 Press Release

For Release: March 23, 2021
Media Calls Only: 916-492-3566
Email Inquiries: cdipress@insurance.ca.gov
San Jacinto landscaper arraigned in alleged workers’ compensation scam
Artificial turf injury leads to insurance fraud charges

RIVERSIDE, Calif. — Angel Maces, 23, of San Jacinto, was arraigned for felony insurance fraud after allegedly misrepresenting symptoms following a work-related injury in order to receive over $42,000 in undeserved workers’ compensation benefits.

On September 7, 2018, Maces, while working for a Temecula landscaping company, was laying artificial turf at a private residence in the City of Duarte when a piece of turf slipped and struck his knee. Maces filed a workers’ compensation claim with his employer’s insurance company that same day and immediately began receiving examinations and treatment.

On April 28, 2020, the California Department of Insurance began an investigation after his employer’s insurance company suspected fraud. The investigation found Maces misrepresented the seriousness of his knee injury and his physical limitations in order to not return to work and collect $42,888 in undeserved workers’ compensation benefits.

Surveillance during the investigation showed Maces conducting activities that contradicted the physical limitations he described to his doctor and his employer. On multiple occasions Maces was seen not using a cane or crutches, even though he claimed he had to use them 100 percent of the time because of the injury.

Maces self-surrendered and was arraigned on February 26, 2021. The Riverside 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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