Canoga Park man arraigned for workers’ comp insurance fraud
News: 2020 Press Release
LOS ANGELES, Calif. — Alexander Cody Smith, 30, of Canoga Park was arraigned on three felony counts of workers’ compensation insurance fraud after allegedly misrepresenting past injuries to receive over $38,000 in undeserved medical treatments and temporary disability benefits from his employer’s insurance company.
Smith, while working for Engen Enterprises Inc., claimed he injured his back on March 16, 2018, as he was lifting a box. Over the course of his medical treatment, Smith complained of back pain to his treating physician and later added complaints of neck pain to the claim. According to his claim and his doctor’s medical report, Smith denied any previous injuries or complaints about his back, specifically to his thoracic or lumbar spine.
An investigation by the California Department of Insurance revealed a history of medical complaints related to both Smith’s neck and back, which reportedly began in October 2015, according to subpoenaed records from his former health care provider and rehabilitation specialists. The records show Smith received medical treatment from February 25, 2017, through March 13, 2018, and according to the records, it was at this time Smith reported feeling depressed due to his pain. This was just three days prior to the date he claimed he got injured at work while lifting the box.
The Department’s investigation revealed Smith misrepresented the history of his prior back injuries. Smith’s actions were likely made in an attempt to continue treatment for his ongoing condition, which was not work-related. Smith provided false information regarding his prior existing issues, which resulted in excessive and unnecessary medical evaluations, treatments, and temporary disability benefits at a cost of $38,746 to his employer’s insurance company.
Smith was arrested on October 28, 2020 and arraigned on October 30, 2020. The Los Angeles 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 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.