News: 2009 Press Release
For Release: April 23, 2009
Media Calls Only: 916-492-3566
Commissioner Poizner Announces Centinela State Prison Librarian Arraigned for Insurance Fraud and Grand Theft
Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner announced that Rosa Cazares Pitones, 52, of Imperial Valley, was arraigned on April 9, on three counts of insurance fraud and one count of grand theft. Pitones was arrested on March 9, 2009.
"I will not tolerate insurance fraud in California," said Commissioner Poizner. "Any individual who commits insurance fraud should know that teams of fraud investigators will track you down and put you in jail, where you belong."
On July 1, 2004, Pitones filed a workers' compensation injury claim with State Compensation Insurance Fund. The injury reportedly occurred while Pitones, a librarian at Centinela State Prison, was moving office furniture out of her work area. Pitones claimed to have shoulder and back pain and could not return to work at the prison due to the injury. Pitones was initially off work for approximately one year. She was under the care of her physician and stated that she was unable to work at full capacity. In August 2006, she returned to work briefly before suffering a back injury, and reportedly unable to fulfill her duties as librarian. Witness statements reported that while on leave from Centinela State Prison, Pitones was receiving compensation while working as an assistant librarian at Imperial Valley College.
A joint investigation by the California Department of Insurance, the California Department of Corrections Office of Investigative Services and Office of Internal Affairs and the Imperial County District Attorney's Office revealed that Pitones was employed full-time as an assistant librarian with Imperial Valley College while she continued to receive workers' compensation payments totaling $20,617. As part of her claim, Pitones stated that she was unable to do the work of a Department of Corrections Librarian due to her injuries. She also made statements to her treating physician that she was not able to work while she was employed as a full-time librarian at the college.
The case is being prosecuted by the Imperial County District Attorney's Office.
Commissioner Poizner oversees sixteen CDI Enforcement Branch regional offices throughout the state. Close to 1900 insurance fraud-related arrests have been made by the Department of Insurance's Enforcement Branch since Commissioner Poizner took office in 2007 - more arrests than have been made during any other two year period, under any previous insurance commissioner.
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