Calif. Man Arrested for Workers’ Compensation Fraud

March 17, 2006

California Insurance Commissioner John Garamendi has announced that Sacramento resident Wayne Allen Sorenson, 35, has been arrested on workers’ compensation insurance fraud charges after an investigation by the California Department of Insurance (CDI) Fraud Division revealed Sorenson allegedly collected Temporary Total Disability (TTD) benefits from State Compensation Insurance Fund (SCIF) while employed.

Sorenson was charged with four felony counts of providing false or misleading statements in support of his insurance claim. He was booked into Sacramento County Jail with bail set at $10,000.

According to CDI investigators, on March 2, 2002, Sorenson injured his thumb as he was repairing a conveyor belt at his place of employment, Baurer San Juan Car Wash. As a result, he began receiving TTD benefits from SCIF. On Nov. 12, 2002, Sorenson was still collecting TTD benefits even as he started his work at AAA Car Care Plus. Investigators said he did not inform SCIF of his new employment, nor did he disclose to the employer his limitations or restrictions. Sorenson continued to work for AAA Car Care Plus until May 19, 2003 without informing them of his injury, or that he was collecting TTD benefits, CDI said.

According to the investigation, while working at AAA Car Care Plus, Sorenson allegedly made numerous false statements to various doctors that he was not working, even complaining of gaining 80 pounds due to his inactivity. Sorenson completed various patient history questionnaires and Present Status Reports indicating he had not worked since the date of his injury, CDI stated.

On Jan. 4, 2004, Sorenson began working for Gem Auto Wash. Investigators say he again failed to indicate that he was injured or had any job limitations. While employed with Gem Auto Wash, Sorenson did not mention he was receiving TTD benefits. He never informed SCIF of his employment and continued to collect both a regular salary and TTD payments as well as permanent disability payments. SCIF even paid to send him through vocational rehabilitation and training to become a truck driver, according to CDI.

Investigators said Sorenson eventually confessed to having worked at both carwashes while collecting TTD benefits. Throughout the claim, Sorensen received approximately $50,000 in TTD, permanent disability and vocational rehabilitation benefits from SCIF. The continuing investigation is being conducted by CDI’s Fraud Division. The Sacramento County District Attorney’s Office is prosecuting the case.

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