Santa Rosa resident convicted in “slip and fall” workers’ compensation fraud scheme
News: 2021 Press Release
SAN RAFAEL, Calif. — Douglas Satre, 38, of Santa Rosa pleaded guilty to insurance fraud and paid more than $14,000 in restitution and additional fines to the California Department of Insurance. Satre was sentenced to a year of probation, 30 days in jail, required to perform 40 hours of community service and complete a theft awareness class.
“Fraud of any kind will not be tolerated. This plea serves as a warning to all that insurance fraud is a crime and punishable in a court of law,” said Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara. “Insurance fraud impacts consumers and businesses through higher costs, potentially harming our state’s economic recovery from the pandemic. We will continue to work with our district attorney and industry partners to protect consumers and combat insurance fraud.”
Satre allegedly slipped and fell in a bathroom while working for a telecom company in San Rafael. He then filed a workers’ compensation insurance claim and began receiving temporary total disability payments as well as treatment through multiple medical professionals across Napa and Marin Counties.
Marin County District Attorney’s Office filed charges against Satre after a Department of Insurance investigation revealed that Satre was collecting disability payments while also working for a new company despite telling medical professionals he was unable to work due to the severity of his injuries, even using a cane at his appointments.
“We were happy to see Mr. Satre take responsibility at an early stage of these proceedings and work diligently to repay the victim,” said Marin County Deputy District Attorney Sean Kensinger. “Unfortunately, when an employee commits workers’ compensation fraud, the impact of that fraud ripples beyond just their employer and can result in increased premium costs for employers throughout the state. For this reason, the identification, investigation and prosecution of workers' compensation fraud remains a priority for the Marin County District Attorney's Office.”
In total, Satre collected disability payments and a paycheck from his new employer for more than six months.
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- Suspected workers' compensation fraud can be reported to the California Department of Insurance online or directly to the Marin County District Attorney's Office at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.