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“Injured” Worker Caught Skydiving; Charged with Fraud

Happy Wednesday, dear readers!   When I was a boy, my great-uncle Pavel told me the story of how he jumped from a Russian Bomber during World War II after it had been struck by Messerschmitt fire.  His let shoulder and elbow dangled uselessly from his body, but he was able to pull and control the parachute to land safely into a cottage full of lonely and beautiful young women who were very impressed with the brave man in a handsome uniform.

Later, I found out my great-uncle had an excellent imagination, but a poor memory, and actually spent World War II as a cook… and he’d never been to the great Motherland; he never jumped out of any airplanes; and, based on his cooking, it looks like he was busy fighting his own war against culinary convention.

When I discovered this – I was heartbroken… but it wasn’t really fraud, right? Just a tall tale to match a tall drink.

Then I read the story of a gentleman from Santa Clara County being charged with workers’ compensation fraud.  Apparently, this gentleman claimed to have sustained an injury while at work as a concrete cutter, and is charged with defrauding Arch Insurance Company of $52,000.  He claimed the injury caused him immense pain and rendered him unable to drive.

Investigators obtained footage of him driving without any difficulties… and even observed him engaged in skydiving, guiding his parachute down to safe landings!

The Santa Clara District Attorney picked up the case, and has filed felony charges against the gentleman.

Your humble blogger commends the Santa Clara DA for prosecuting this case, and the insurance company for investing the time and resources in investigating the claim.  Workers’ Compensation Fraud happens far too often in California, and its discovery is far too rare- its prosecution rarer still.

As for Pavel, each time he tells the story, his injuries get worse and his escape more daring – both of which can be forgiven so long as he doesn’t seek any workers’ comp benefits for the tall tale.

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