San Jacinto landscaper arraigned in alleged workers’ compensation scam
News: 2021 Press Release
RIVERSIDE, Calif. — Angel Maces, 23, of San Jacinto, was arraigned for felony insurance fraud after allegedly misrepresenting symptoms following a work-related injury in order to receive over $42,000 in undeserved workers’ compensation benefits.
On September 7, 2018, Maces, while working for a Temecula landscaping company, was laying artificial turf at a private residence in the City of Duarte when a piece of turf slipped and struck his knee. Maces filed a workers’ compensation claim with his employer’s insurance company that same day and immediately began receiving examinations and treatment.
On April 28, 2020, the California Department of Insurance began an investigation after his employer’s insurance company suspected fraud. The investigation found Maces misrepresented the seriousness of his knee injury and his physical limitations in order to not return to work and collect $42,888 in undeserved workers’ compensation benefits.
Surveillance during the investigation showed Maces conducting activities that contradicted the physical limitations he described to his doctor and his employer. On multiple occasions Maces was seen not using a cane or crutches, even though he claimed he had to use them 100 percent of the time because of the injury.
Maces self-surrendered and was arraigned on February 26, 2021. The Riverside 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.