Colorado Attorney General John Suthers has announced that his office obtained an indictment against two Aurora, Colo., residents suspected of stealing $140,000 worth of workers’ compensation funds from Pinnacol Assurance.
According to the 18-count indictment, Martin Lobatos first collected workers’ compensation following a Sept. 29, 2008 fall off a ladder while working as a roofer. Lobatos returned to work in October 2008 but still complained of dizziness and vertigo. According to the indictment, Lobatos’ doctors said he fully recovered from these symptoms in April 2009. However, following his termination from his job in April and subsequent to him accepting a $20,000 settlement from Pinnacol Assurance in September 2009, Lobatos started to complain of new symptoms, including dizziness, memory loss, difficulty recognizing his own children and other physical problems.
According to the indictment, Lobatos informed physicians over the following months of his deteriorating physical condition until around March 2010, when he reportedly became fully catatonic. Throughout the process, Lobatos’ wife, Belen Luna Lobatos, accompanied him to medical appointments and assisted him during these trips and his hospital stays.
According to the indictment, Martin Lobatos was observed driving and shopping after acting during medical exams as though he were fully catatonic. He also is suspected of passing drivers tests with an above-average score one week after he appeared to be unable to normally function. Belen Luna Lobatos is suspected of assisting her husband to defraud Pinnacol Assurance and fraudulently claiming $4,000 a month from Pinnacol Assurance to care for her husband between April 2010 and May 2011.
Prosecutors from the Office of the Attorney General will present the case against the Lobatos in Denver District Court. Each defendant could face a fine of up to $750,000 and up to 12 years in prison if convicted of theft, a class-three felony.
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