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Firefighter, Fighter, Fraudster (and, now, convict)

As you may recall, dear readers, your humble blogger risked life and limb to bring you the story of Raphael “Noodle” Davis, a (now) ex-Los Angeles firefighter who continued to participate in Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) competitions and brag about his running times on twitter even though he was allegedly “disabled” and couldn’t return to duty as a firefighter.

This defense attorney’s tough exterior shielded him from an impromptu MMA match, but Mr. Noodle’s did not help him avoid prosecution by the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s office.

It looks like Mr. Noodle pled out, agreeing to repay $30,000 in restitution and performing 200 hours of community service.  Mr. Noodle was able to sustain such a sentence, because he developed a tolerance for such punishment as part of his MMA training.  In fact, there is a very painful attack in MMA, called “slap on the wrist,” which closely resembles this sentence.

Doesn’t LA have a problem with its budget?  Is money really flooding the streets of Los Angeles County that they can afford to give a wink and a nod to firefighters, policemen, and any other city and county employees who choose to get a fraudulent pay-day?  The City was effectively paying Mr. Noodle to pursue his MMA career!  Will the $30,000 really cover the cost of investigation, prosecution, and enforcement?

Fraud is hard to detect, and therefore hard to deter.  When you do catch a fraudster like Noodle, you have to throw the book at him so the rest of the workforce will realize it is not worth it.  As it stands, it’s pretty worth it right now in L.A.

WCDefenseCA would love to give a salute to the Los Angeles County D.A.’s office, but unfortunately no salute shall issue.

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