Investigators with the California Department of Insurance (CDI) Criminal Investigations Branch’s Fraud Division announced the arrest of a southern California man for workers’ compensation insurance fraud and grand theft.
Carlos Villanueva Ochoa, 47, was charged with two felonies and bail was set at $30,000.
According to investigators, Ochoa was a saw operator at Hollywood Alloy Casting Company. Ochoa filed a workers’ compensation claim with Hollywood Alloy and received Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) benefits. Ochoa interrupted the VR benefits in 1996, but on Nov. 11, 1998 he reportedly submitted a written request for VR reinstatement. Ochoa was awarded VR benefits from Nov. 11, 1998 through April 4, 1999 by the Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board. Investigators found Ochoa began working for Buddy Bar Casting Corporation on November 23, 1998 as a band saw operator.
On Oct. 7, 1999, Ochoa allegedly made material misrepresentations to his VR Counselor that he had not been able to work since 1995 because of the injury he received while working for Hollywood Alloy. Ochoa informed the VR counselor that although he had been looking for employment, he was unsuccessful in finding any. As a result of his statement, Ochoa received VR benefits, paid by SCIF, from Nov. 11, 1998 through June 20, 2000.
Investigators found that Ochoa allegedly lied and was working at night while attending vocational rehabilitation classes during the day and receiving a vocational rehabilitation allowance of approximately $240 a week. The loss is estimated at approximately $14,000.