Kitchen worker double-dips to collect workers’ comp benefits while working other jobs
News: 2014 Press Release
LOS ANGELES, Calif. - Fernando Gallegos, 43, of Los Angeles, was arrested for allegedly collecting workers' compensation benefits for one job while still working another. Gallegos faces five felony counts of workers' compensation fraud and one felony count of perjury.
"Workers' compensation fraud is not a victimless crime. The cost of fraud losses are passed along to business and then to consumers through higher costs for goods and services," said Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones. "Anyone who lies to collect unearned benefits and takes advantage of the system is stealing from all Californians."
Gallegos was allegedly injured while working in a commercial kitchen and claimed the injury made it impossible for him to work. An investigation by the California Department of Insurance revealed that Gallegos was actually employed at two restaurants performing the very job duties he claimed he was unable to perform.
Gallegos received workers' compensation benefits of $8,890 over a nine-month period. During this time, he perjured himself at a deposition by failing to report his other jobs. He also lied to his doctors by claiming he was too injured to work. Gallegos continued to collect benefits while he worked for two different restaurants while double-dipping to receive workers' compensation benefits.
This case is being prosecuted by the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office. Bail for Gallegos is set at $30,000.
The California Department of Insurance, established in 1868, is the largest consumer protection agency in California. Insurers collect $289 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 $394 million in claims and premiums. Please visit the Department of Insurance web site at www.insurance.ca.gov. Non-media inquiries should be directed to the Consumer Hotline at 800.927.HELP or 213.897.8921. Telecommunications Devices for the Deaf (TDD), please dial 800.482.4833.