Home North Pole Economy Santa Ana Police Officer Charged With Workers’ Compensation Fraud – CBS Los Angeles

Santa Ana Police Officer Charged With Workers’ Compensation Fraud – CBS Los Angeles

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SANTA ANA (CBSLA) – Santa Ana police officer who was injured in a 2017 lawsuit has been charged with workers’ compensation fraud, charged with receiving disability benefits while in fairly good health to resume work.

Jonathon Ridge, 39, drove all the way to Utah, went to the beach and rode his motorcycle, while telling the department he couldn’t return to work due to a wrist injury, reports the Orange County District Attorney’s Office.

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He was charged Wednesday with four counts of insurance fraud.

Ridge lied to his doctor and the agency about the condition of a wrist injury in order to receive 100% of his normal pay, even though his activity showed he was healthy enough to return to work, said said the prosecutor’s office.

The situation began on October 5, 2017, when Ridge was injured in a chase involving a stolen car. He immediately became disabled and about seven months later, in May 2018, underwent surgery on his left wrist. He was not allowed to return to work until November 2018.

However, due to the alleged stresses of his injury, he was forced to return to disability immediately, prosecutors said.

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“The work restrictions were too severe for the city of Santa Ana to adapt, although the city of Santa Ana has an extensive return to work program for injured employees,” the prosecutor’s office wrote in a statement. Press.

The city began to monitor it between March and May 2019.

The city then launched an investigation which found Ridge began attending full-time college courses in June 2018, just weeks after undergoing his surgery. Investigators also learned that during that time he traveled to Utah, went to the beach and rode his motorcycle, prosecutors said.

“Worker’s compensation fraud costs honest, hard-working businesses and government entities over $ 30 billion a year,” OC DA Todd Spitzer wrote in a statement. “We cannot allow those who commit workers’ compensation fraud to go unpunished, as the financial cost to government and private companies makes the cost of doing business increasingly difficult. “

It is not known if Ridge was fired from the department, or exactly when he stopped receiving his disability award.

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He faces a maximum sentence of eight years in prison if convicted of the charges.