San Diego Man Convicted of Workers’ Comp Fraud

January 23, 2006

A former employee of a San Diego custom kitchen cabinet company was sentenced in San Diego County Superior Court on one count of workers’ compensation insurance fraud. Superior Court Judge Timothy Walsh ordered Joseph Pankey, 38, of Santee, Calif., to nine months in a residential rehabilitation center and three years formal probation. Walsh also ordered Pankey to pay a restitution of $5,424 to State Compensation Insurance Fund.

State Fund provided workers’ compensation coverage to Pankey’s former employer — Holland’s Custom Kitchens — from October 2001 through the end of 2005. The restitution covers State Fund’s costs for Pankey’s false workers’ compensation insurance claim, which he filed in 2002. State Fund assisted the San Diego Country District Attorney’s Office in its investigation.

According to State Fund, Pankey reported a back injury in 2002 while employed at Holland’s Custom Kitchens. During the claims investigation, State Fund received a tip of possible workers’ compensation fraud. A subrosa investigation documented Pankey working as a cabinetmaker at another firm following his alleged injury at Holland’s Custom Kitchens. State Fund submitted its investigation of the case to the San Diego County DA’s Office.

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