A Solano County, Calif., deputy sheriff has been arrested for alleged workers’ compensation insurance fraud, the California Department of Insurance reported. Michael Oster of Elk Grove, Calif., was arrested and booked into the Sacramento County Jail on $10,000 bail. He was charged with concealing an event affecting an insurance benefit [Insurance Code Section 550(b)(3)], a felony. If convicted, the suspect faces between one and five years in prison and/or $20,000 to $150,000 in fines.
According to the DOI, on November 30, 2007, Oster filed a workers’ compensation claim with Solano County, alleging an injury to his left knee. Oster received his full paycheck pursuant to Labor Code Section 4850 during the first year he was off work, as he was deemed to be temporarily totally disabled (TTD). After receiving one year of 4850 benefits, Oster began to receive TTD payments from the County of Solano. Oster later received long term disability (LTD) payments from the California Law Enforcement Association (CLEA), a private, non-political, nonprofit benefit association that offers benefits California peace officers.
A joint investigation conducted by the California Department of Insurance and the Solano County Sheriff’s Office revealed that Oster allegedly concealed the fact he was working for another employer while collecting Labor Code 4850 benefits, TTD and LTD benefits.
Oster purportedly earned $67,242.43 from Western Career College and received $19,481 from CLEA. He failed to disclose these earnings to the county and CLEA, resulting in an overpayment of benefits.
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