Fraudster Nabbed by Employer (If You Want a Job Done Right…)
WCDefenseCA is happy to report to its dear readers that yet another workers’ compensation fraudster has been caught and is now facing the exhausted and overburdened wrath of local law enforcement.
John Jose Ramirez accepted workers’ compensation payments from a Murrieta, California business after allegedly hurting his knee in 2008. While the couple who own the small business at which fraudster Ramirez was employed faced increased workers’ compensation rates, he enjoyed disability payments which he used to open his own business, in direct competition with his former employers.
It was only thanks to the diligence of the employer, who regularly photographed Ramirez’s company truck and active lifestyle that the District Attorney’s office was able to make a case.
Currently, the matter is set for a preliminary hearing.
This sets a good example for adjusters and defense attorneys as well. Whether you are defending a case for the biggest employer in all the land, or the smallest mom-and-pop shop, the best resource for catching fraudsters is the supervisor, employer, and co-worker.
Gossips, rumors, hearsay… all of these things tend to be inadmissible at the Board, but they are enough to justify an investigation, sub rosa, and a line of questioning at a deposition.
The employer has every incentive to have a fraudulent workers’ compensation claim discovered and treated as such, sparing the business budget an unnecessary increase in workers’ compensation insurance premiums.
Even as we on the defense side, attorney and adjuster alike, face crowded desks, bursting filing cabinets, and a clock that is snugly in a vice with every last second being squeezed out of it, there is still good reason to take the time and have a conversation with the employer – What do you know? What do you hear? Is this guy for real? You think he’s really hurt? Is he working somewhere else?
As always, WCDefenseCA wishes good hunting to the deputy DA on the case… but an especially fond thumbs up to the small business owners who did the leg work in catching this fraudster in the act.