Sacramento Man Accused of Defrauding DMV, State Fund

August 5, 2002

Benjamin Barnes, 35, surrendered and was booked into the Sacramento County Jail on charges of insurance fraud and attempted perjury.

An investigation by CDI Criminal Investigations Branch’s Fraud Division revealed that Barnes reportedly experienced leg and back pain while working as a motor vehicle technician for the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). He filed a claim for workers’ comp benefits with the State Compensation Insurance Fund, and told the claims adjuster and five doctors he was unable to sit, walk, stand, bend, or drive as usual.

Barnes, who is also a minister at New Life Family Worship Center, was later videotaped performing all of those activities without limitations. He reportedly continues to claim he is unable to work.

According to investigators, Barnes also denied prior injuries of a similar nature to treating doctors and during a sworn deposition. The investigation revealed Barnes filed a workers’ comp claim in 1993 with the same symptoms of back pain radiating down his leg. That claim was resolved when Barnes received an $8,000 settlement from State Fund for his alleged injuries.

DMV and State Fund have paid over $21,000 in medical payments and leave benefits for Barnes’ current claim.

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