La Mesa IHOP cook arrested for workers’ compensation fraud
News: 2020 Press Release
SAN DIEGO, Calif. — California Department of Insurance detectives arrested Jonathan Quezada, 28, on multiple felony counts of insurance fraud and workers’ compensation insurance fraud after he allegedly falsified an insurance claim to receive unearned workers' compensation benefits costing Californians over $22,000.
"The workers’ compensation system is intended to help honest workers who get hurt while doing their jobs get the benefits and assistance they need to support themselves and their families while they recover,” said Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara. “When people file fraudulent workers' compensation claims they take advantage of this system and cost Californians millions of dollars every year in higher premiums.”
Quezada was working as a cook at an IHOP in La Mesa when he fractured his clavicle. He filed a workers’ compensation claim with his employer stating he got hurt at work while performing his normal job duties and told his employer and insurance representatives that he was cleaning grill grates in the IHOP kitchen when he slipped and fell.
After receiving a referral from the Preferred Employers Insurance Company, the California Department of Insurance launched an investigation which revealed Quezada lied about the circumstances of his injury. Surveillance video showed he was injured at work, but that his injury was a result of play wrestling with a coworker, not performing his normal job duties as he claimed. Quezada’s allegedly false statements allowed him to receive workers’ compensation benefits he was not entitled to, which cost Californians $22,781.
Quezada was arrested on February 12, 2020, and was booked at the Sacramento County Jail. Bail was set at $25,000. The San Diego District Attorney’s Office is prosecuting this case.
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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.