A Los Angeles Police Department officer who worked as an armed security guard at Staples Center and Dodger Stadium while collecting disability benefits for on-duty injuries was convicted this week of workers’ compensation fraud, the District Attorney’s office announced.
The verdict marks the first time an LAPD officer has been convicted of workers’ comp fraud.
Deputy District Attorney Renee Korn of the Workers’ Compensation Fraud Division said the jury deliberated about a half-hour before convicting Mariana Gallegos, 36, of the three felony counts.
Superior Court Judge Anita Dymant, who presided over the jury trial, scheduled sentencing for March 1. Korn said the defendant faces a possible maximum term of five years in state prison. Although Korn asked the court to remand the defendant to custody following the conviction, Gallegos remains free on $30,000 bond.
Gallegos was charged in January 2004 after an investigation by the LAPD’s Internal Affairs Division. It was alleged that she was an armed security guard at the parking lot at Staples Center and the concession area of Dodger Stadium in the summer of 2003. At the time, she was collecting benefits because she could not perform her duties as a police officer due to an on-duty injury that caused her to be off duty on total temporary disability.
At the time she was charged, Gallegos was working in the Internal Affairs Division. She had been with Internal Affairs for 2-1/2 years.
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