The Kern County District Attorney’s Office on Wednesday announced the issuance and filing of indictments against seven accused by the Kern County grand jury.
The indictments were issued at a vocational school in Bakersfield for his alleged involvement in an insurance fraud conspiracy scandal, according to a press release from the prosecutor’s office.
According to the statement, the scam involved the theft of more than $ 100,000 in benefits intended to help injured workers return to the workforce by training them in a new trade.
Those charged were employees and owners of the Instituto Hispano Americano, located on Chester Avenue, as well as employees of two local law firms, the statement said. The charges center on the alleged misuse of the supplementary job displacement allowance vouchers, the statement said.
The vouchers typically offer injured workers up to $ 6,000 to retrain at a post-secondary educational institution, the prosecutor’s office said. This retraining is aimed at making the injured worker more competitive in the job market, as they are otherwise unable to return to their former employer due to total or temporary disability, the statement said.
The indictment alleges that the conspirators defrauded more than 20 insurance companies over $ 100,000 by exploiting the voucher program, the prosecutor’s office said. The case alleges that the defendants would systematically send false or misleading documents to insurance companies that falsely certify that injured workers were eligible for money in vouchers, but in reality the students did not meet the minimum requirements for register for the program.
The IHA reportedly lied about dozens of test results for exams required for enrollment under section 94904 of the California Education Code.
The injured workers were referred to the school by employees of local law firms, who would be paid up to $ 600 per person for referring students to the school, the statement said. It is illegal to engage in paid referrals under the workers compensation system under sections 3215 and 139.32 of the Labor Code.
Charges against those charged include conspiracy to commit insurance fraud, concealing facts affecting entitlement to insurance benefits and offering or receiving money in exchange for referrals, depending on the government. prosecutor’s office. The charges are said to relate to 85 counts.
The seven defendants have been brought to justice, have pleaded not guilty and are currently awaiting trial in Kern County Superior Court. The defendants are Anna Ayala-Reyes, Sylvia Carrillo, Evelyn Cruz, Martin Cruz, Nelfido Rolando Cruz, Cynthia Ozaeta and Sandra Paredez, according to the statement.
The grand jury indictment was the product of years of investigation and preparation by attorneys and investigators from the Kern County District Attorney’s Office as well as detectives from the California Department of Insurance, the statement said. . The investigation included the execution of several search warrants, arrests in several counties and the examination of thousands of seized documents.