Sunday, October 22, 2017


 

Celebrating 30 Years (1987 - 2017)

of Superior Service to our Valued Clients

 
   
Press Release

Former Sheriff Deputy Convicted For Committing Insurance Fraud

3/13/2017

 On March 1st, 2017, the Special Investigative Unit of RJN Investigations, Inc. was formally notified by the Orange County District Attorney’s Office regarding the successful prosecution in the case of People of California vs. N. Zappas. 

 

In this particular case, while working as a Sheriff Deputy in the Harbor Patrol Division, the claimant tripped over a firehose and fell on his back, injuring his left shoulder, left side of his neck and lower back.  He was placed on work restrictions of no heavy lifting, pushing or pulling greater than 10 lbs. by the treating physician. The Orange County Risk Management Department subsequently received an anonymous tip indicating that the claimant was engaged in cross-fit type activity involving heavy lifting.  A surveillance level investigation performed by the RJN SIU secured several hours of video evidence of the claimant engaged in consistent cross-fit activities which included lifting over 200 lbs.  In December, 2015, while under oath during his deposition, the claimant denied lifting anything over 20 lbs. since the date of injury and claimed he could not lift anything heavy, could not do squats and could not run.  The video was then shown to the doctor who changed his medical opinion.  In compliance with regulations set forth by the California Department of Insurance, a documented referral was then submitted to the Orange County District Attorney’s Office and to the California Department of Insurance Fraud Division.  Upon completion of an extensive criminal investigation, the claimant was formally charged with 11 counts of insurance fraud and 7 felony counts of perjury under oath.  Given the extent of the evidence, the claimant subsequently entered into a plea bargain agreement.  After pleading guilty to committing insurance fraud, the claimant was subsequently sentenced to 3 years formal probation, 180 days in jail and ordered to pay $34,838.00 in restitution to that of the County of Orange.  In addition, he was also required to dismiss his 2011 and 2015 workers’ compensation claims with prejudice as a condition of his probation.

 

ABOUT R.J.N. SIU:

 

Formed in 1996, the SIU Division was created to assist California employers, small size insurance carriers and TPA firms in securing professional assistance so as to detect, investigate and prosecute insurance fraud.  To date, the unit has trained well over 2,750 examiners and the documented referrals by this unit have resulted in over 160 convictions for workers’ compensation insurance fraud in California. 

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