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Surveillance and social media posts lead to felony arraignment of San Bernardino mechanic accused of workers’ compensation fraud

News: 2022 Press Release

For Release: August 4, 2022
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Surveillance and social media posts lead to felony arraignment of San Bernardino mechanic accused of workers’ compensation fraud

SAN BERNARDINO, Calif. – Richard James McGee, 47, of San Bernardino, was arraigned today on two felony counts of workers’ compensation insurance fraud after a Department of Insurance investigation found he allegedly misrepresented injuries to his employer in order to receive over $30,000 in undeserved disability payments.

In August 2019, while employed as a motorcycle mechanic, McGee allegedly suffered an unwitnessed work-related injury to his arm and right shoulder when a gas tank fell and pinned his arm against a motorcycle. McGee began receiving Temporary Total Disability payments when his work restrictions could not be accommodated.

The investigation began after McGee’s coworkers saw photos on multiple social media platforms in which he was actively racing his motorcycle and riding his downhill mountain bike – activities requiring the use of both his arms and shoulders. It also was discovered that McGee was operating his own motorcycle mechanic shop out of his garage, Inland Empire Motorsports.

In August 2020 during a Qualified Medical Exam, McGee told the physician because of his injury he could no longer work as a motorcycle mechanic and he could no longer ride his mountain bike and had not done so since his injury in August 2019. However, surveillance video showed McGee riding his mountain bike at a mountain bike park in Running Springs, California, in which he took his mountain bike off large jumps and crashed his mountain bike.

When Department detectives presented the social media posts and surveillance video to the physician who did McGee’s exam, the physician opined McGee had not accurately represented his injury and physical abilities, and that McGee had lied during his original exam. As a result of misrepresenting his injury and physical capabilities, McGee received $30,629 in workers’ compensation benefits he was not entitled to receive.

On June 2, 2022, Department detectives arrested McGee and he was booked into the West Valley Detention Center. The San Bernardino County District Attorney’s Office is prosecuting the 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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