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La Mesa IHOP cook arrested for workers’ compensation fraud

News: 2020 Press Release

For Release: February 13, 2020
Media Calls Only: 916-492-3566
Email Inquiries: cdipress@insurance.ca.gov
La Mesa IHOP cook arrested for workers’ compensation fraud
Cook allegedly filed a false insurance claim to collect unearned workers’ comp benefits after play wrestling on the job

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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The California Department of Insurance, established in 1868, is the largest consumer protection agency in California. Insurers collect $310 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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