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CHP Officer Sentenced in WC Fraud Case

February 11th, 2015 No comments

My wise and beloved readers will recall that I previously blogged on the case of (former) CHP Officer Tony Yao.  Recently, convict Yao was sentenced to pay $80,555.15 in restitution, give years of formal probation, and a stayed term of 240 days in county jail (if he can get into the Sheriff’s work-release program).

I will allow this grammatically challenged rodent, which appears to be a river otter, to communicate my reaction:

disappointed river otter

Mr. Yao was a CHP officer, who not only bore the responsibilities placed upon any citizen for the preservation or benefit of society, but also bore the additional duty of a law enforcement officer.  The damage done by Mr. Yao goes beyond the dollars and (non)sense of committing workers’ compensation fraud (see what I did there, dear readers? Aren’t I clever…?)

How can we seek justice for employers and insurers when they are defrauded by lying workers when law enforcement officers are engaged in the same behavior?

Here’s to hoping that future transgressions meet with stiffer punishment, because, from your humble blogger’s vantage point on his high horse, having to pay back some of the benefits received and possibly having to wear an ankle bracelet does not offer sufficient deterrence value for behavior as damaging as this.

But, then again, perhaps someday your humble blogger’s humble blog posts will merit a punishment as well…


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CHP Officer Goes Down for WC Fraud

January 5th, 2015 No comments

Alright, dear readers, you remember that CHP officer accused of insurance fraud?  Your humble blogger reported on this matter back in 2012, when Officer Tony Yao was accused of workers’ compensation fraud.  Well, it looks like officer Yao has been convicted, and sentencing is set for the end of January.  (Special thanks to E.V., Esq.)

Now, think back, dear readers, to when you’ve had an actual fraud case that you would like to see prosecuted by the District Attorney.  Whether this is a major fraud case or a slam-dunk petty fraud case, how often have you been told that the good folks enforcing the laws have neither the time nor the resources to handle every single case, including yours?

Now that officer Yao has been convicted, do you think any cases that he may have worked on in the past might warrant a review?  Do you think that, now, there’s going to be more or less in terms of resources available to prosecute workers’ compensation fraud when the district attorney has additional cases to re-litigate?

Workers’  compensation fraud hurts a lot of people – it raises the cost of doing business, and that raise in cost translates to higher prices for consumers and less in available wages for workers.  When a law enforcement officer engages in fraud, the harm resonates further, and robs Californians of law-enforcement tax dollars as well.

Congratulations to the District Attorney for getting this conviction – hopefully it will resonate with any other law enforcement officers, and employees in general, about the consequences of fraudulent actions.

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Yet Another Sacramento CHP Officer Charged with WC Fraud

June 14th, 2012 No comments

Is there something about being in Sacramento and working for the CHP that makes one more likely to commit workers’ compensation fraud?  Is seeing California’s finest politicians hard at “work” in the state’s capital a source of inspiration for those that so effectively patrol our highways?

Back in April, your friendly neighborhood blogger reported on the workers’ compensation fraud charges lodged at Tony Yao, a California Highway Patrol officer in Sacramento.  My more interested readers can track the result of that case here.

But now, it appears that lightning has struck again, with the Sacramento District Attorney’s office accusing Officer Brian Christopher Hansen of faking an injury to collect workers’ compensation paymentsNormally, WCDefenseCA does not like to name names, but in cases of alleged fraud and criminal activity this rule is waived.

Sub rosa video showed Hansen moving furniture, driving for long periods of time, and picking up heavy objects with no signs of impairment, all while on leave because of a back injury that left him with restrictions that precluded his ordinary duties – even limited office duties.

According to this nifty device from the Sacramento Bee, in 2008, Hansen made $88,133.55, and in 2009 he was paid $83,906.26.  Was this not enough?  Is the job of a CHP officer really so horrible and the pay so meager that an injury needed to be faked?

Well, WCDefenseCA wishes the DA’s office the best of luck in obtaining a conviction, and hopefully recovering some of the money improperly obtained by Mr. Hansen.

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Sacramento CHP Officer Arrested for Fraud

April 19th, 2012 2 comments

Workers’ compensation fraud is always frustrating – and for good reason.  Not only does it make you realize that you have just wasted a fortune in undeserved benefits and unrecoverable investigation and prosecution costs, but it makes you a habitual cynic, mistrustful of seemingly honest and unfortunate injured workers.

This is especially the case when the act is committed by someone in a position of trust.  Firefighters are a good examplePolicemen are another.  But even the state capitol and its guardians are not immune to the corrupting influence of fraud.

Officer Tony Yao, a California Highway Patrol officer in Sacramento has been charged with felony workers’ compensation fraud.  As alleged, Yao claimed he had a back injury during firearms training while at the Academy, and then claimed his back pain was so severe he could not even do the office work offered to him.  An internal investigation revealed unreported past back injuries, completely unused exercise equipment (perhaps the result of a typical new years’ resolution?)

Given that some public employees such as law enforcement and firefighters tend to receive various beneficial presumptions in workers’ compensation, shouldn’t there be some additional penalties for when they commit acts of fraud?  Perhaps a reader more familiar than your focused blogger could comment as to this.

But if reforms are really in the air for the workers’ compensation system, perhaps additional penalties can be drafted into legislation and regulations to be imposed on the fraudsters who breach the public trust.

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