News: 2010 Press Release
For Release: June 11, 2010
Media Calls Only: 916-492-3566
Commissioner Poizner Announces Former California Department Of Corrections Employee Sentenced For Workers’ Comp Fraud
Insurance Commissioner Poizner today announced the conviction of an El Centro woman and former employee of Centinela State Prison for workers' compensation insurance fraud. On June 9, 2010, Rosa Pitones, 54, was convicted in the Imperial County Superior Court after a jury trial. The jury found Pitones guilty of violating multiple counts of felony insurance fraud.
"Cheating the system by collecting workers' comp payments when you are able to work is wrong, illegal and will get you nothing but problems with the law," said Commissioner Poizner. "If you cheat the system, CDI investigators will find you and help bring you to justice."
On July 1, 2004, Pitones filed a workers' compensation injury claim with State Compensation Insurance Fund. The injury reportedly occurred while Pitones was on duty as a librarian at Centinela State Prison. Pitones claimed that she could not return to work at Centinela State Prison due to the injury. Pitones was initially off work for approximately one year. She returned to work briefly and then was placed off work again in August 2006. Witness statements reported that while out of work on workers compensation temporary disability at Centinela State Prison, Pitones was employed as an assistant librarian at Imperial Valley College.
An investigation by the California Department of Corrections, the Imperial Valley District Attorney's Office and the California Department of Insurance revealed that Pitones was employed as a full-time assistant librarian at the college from February 1, 2007, through June 30, 2007, with an annual salary of $62,655 ($31,485 for the contract period). Pitones agreed to the job offer on February 1, 2007. A second contract was in the file for July 2, 2007 through December 31, 2007, which listed an annual salary of $70,392 ($35,196 for the contract period). From February 7, 2007 through August 2, 2007 while working at Imperial Valley College, Pitones continued to receive workers' compensation disability payments from State Compensation Insurance Fund totaling $20,617.72.
Pitones is scheduled for sentencing in Imperial County Superior Court on July 7, 2010.
This case is being prosecuted by the Imperial County District Attorney's Office.
Commissioner Poizner oversees sixteen CDI Enforcement Branch regional offices throughout the state. Nearly 2,800 insurance fraud-related arrests have been made by CDI since Commissioner Poizner took office in 2007 - more arrests than have been made during any other three year period, under any previous insurance commissioner.
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