Brawley woman sentenced for disability insurance fraud
News: 2018 Press Release
IMPERIAL COUNTY, Calif. — Teresa Baker, 60, was sentenced yesterday in Imperial County Superior Court to 30 days in jail, 60 days home detention, three years formal probation, and ordered to pay restitution of $124,029 after fraudulently collecting monthly payments on disability insurance while working full-time at three different employers.
"Thanks to our hard working detectives another fraudster has been brought to justice," said Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones."We will continue to work with our district attorney partners to aggressively investigate and prosecute those who try and game the system."
Baker claimed an injury to her back in October of 1998 after a fall while employed by Valley Independent Bank in El Centro. Due to the alleged injury, Baker claimed to the insurer, she was unable to work. The California Department of Insurance launched an investigation after receiving a referral from the Standard Insurance Company claiming that Baker had been working from May 2007 through October 2013 while collecting disability benefits.
The investigation revealed that Baker collected more than $100,000 in disability payments she was not entitled to. During this same time, Baker worked for the Brawley Public Scales, Sun Community Federal Credit Union, and the Brawley School District as a substitute teacher. Baker was arrested on June 30, 2017 and subsequently pleaded guilty to one felony count of insurance fraud on January 4, 2018. This case was prosecuted by the Imperial 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.