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Atwater construction worker arraigned for workers’ comp insurance fraud

News: 2020 Press Release

For Release: August 11, 2020
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Atwater construction worker arraigned for workers’ comp insurance fraud
Suspect allegedly filed false claim after initiating a fight that led to him being stabbed


 On March 1, 2021, Martinez was sentenced to one year in custody after pleading guilty to one felony count of insurance fraud. Martinez will also serve two additional years for two separate violations of probation.

MERCED, Calif. — Meliton Hernandez Martinez Jr., 23, was arraigned today at the Merced County Superior Court on multiple felony counts of insurance fraud and a misdemeanor count of filing a false police report, after allegedly instigating a physical altercation resulting in stab wounds to his abdomen and arm. 

An investigation by the Department of Insurance revealed Martinez was on an approved mid-morning work break while employed with a construction company. During the break, surveillance footage and witness statements revealed that Martinez made inappropriate gestures to a female in a parking lot and was then confronted by the female’s boyfriend, a former U.S. Marine, who asked Martinez to be respectful. Surveillance footage revealed Martinez began punching the boyfriend in the face multiple times, without provocation. As a result, Martinez was stabbed in the abdomen and the arm, which was later determined to be self-defense by local law enforcement.
After being airlifted to a local hospital, Martinez filed a workers’ compensation claim with his employer and provided false statements in regards to the incident. Advantage Workers’ Compensation Insurance Company later denied all medical bills in relation to the claim after discovering Martinez was the initial physical aggressor, and toxicology results revealed Martinez was under the influence of alcohol and cannabis at the time of the altercation.

The Merced County 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 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.

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