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Another LEO Goes Down for WC Fraud

Happy Monday, dear readers!

Have you heard the news? There’s a horrible plague going around.  It’s a weird epidemic – law enforcement officers are going down for workers’ comp fraud!

Just last week your humble blogger brought you the story of Ryan Patrick Natividad, of the Costa Mesa Police Department.

Well, it appears that Nicholas Zappas, a former deputy of the Orange County Sheriff’s Office, the nameless individual featured on this blog back in November of 2016, has plead guilty to six misdemeanor counts of insurance fraud.

Sentencing includes six months    of jail time and three years of probation, as well as $34,838 in restitution and $1,000 to the Workers’ Compensation Fraud Assessment Fund.

His downfall was, of course, representing pretty limiting work restrictions to his doctor while engaging in cross-fit exercise.   14 years of service, 14 years of assisting in convictions, 14 years of building credibility and a reputation, all up in smoke to collect a bit of wage loss and be assigned to desk duty.

So, here’s something really interesting about this case – the injured worker was placed on modified duty and the employer was accommodating.  Despite this, something made the employer engage in an investigation.

In a lot of cases, if the employer is accommodating and there is no TD being paid (or very, very little) the fraud element goes to sleep. Perhaps this case serves as a reminder to us all that fraud doesn’t always set its sights on a big bag of money – sometimes the fraudsters are intent on flying under the radar and draining siphoning off the pool just a little bit.

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