Calif. Nurse’s Technician Pleads Guilty to Workers’ Comp Fraud

February 5, 2003

Marsha Arlene Johnson of Inglewood, Calif., pleaded guilty to a felony charge of workers’ compensation insurance fraud. Johnson was ordered to pay full restitution in the amount of $28,861.77, and received five years’ probation and 200 hours of community service.

A trial was scheduled in the case at the Criminal Courts Building in downtown Los Angeles. Prior to trial, Johnson changed her plea from not guilty to guilty. The Los Angeles County District Attorney’s office prosecuted the case.

Johnson was arrested on Sept. 10, 2002, by investigators from the California Department of Insurance (CDI) for reportedly filing a fraudulent workers’ comp claim in Dec. 1999 that alleged a work-related back injury. At that time, she was employed as a nurse’s technician at Torrance Memorial Medical Center.

After an internal investigation, Torrance Memorial’s claims administrator, Torrance-based Keenan & Associates, denied the claim in the first quarter of 2000 and referred the case over to the CDI for formal investigation. The CDI investigation revealed that Johnson’s claim was reportedly fraudulent and the investigators promptly obtained a warrant for her arrest.

According to Keenan & Associates, Johnson’s fraudulent claim resulted in a total loss to the employer and claims administrator–including medical payments, investigative and administrative costs–of nearly $30,000.

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