Quality Control Inspector Arrested for WC Fraud

December 5, 2002

California Department of Insurance (CDI) Fraud Investigators announced the arrest of a Los Angeles resident for insurance fraud.

CDI Fraud Investigators, with the assistance of the Los Angeles Police Department, arrested Tommie Robinson, 54, this morning at his home in Los Angeles pursuant to an arrest warrant issued on Nov. 27, 2002 by an Orange County Superior Court Judge. The Orange County District Attorney’s Office filed six felony counts of insurance fraud against Robinson related to an April 28, 1998 industrial injury. Robinson was transported and booked into the Orange County Central Jail and bail was set at $25,000. If convicted, he faces five years in state prison and/or a fine of up to $50,000.

According to investigators, on April 28, 1998, Robinson was working as a Quality Control Inspector for Cherokee International in Irvine, Calif., when he allegedly injured his back while picking up some material. Robinson reported the injury to his supervisor and he was referred to a physician for evaluation and treatment. Robinson was returned to modified work duties, but continued to have complaints of pain. In 2001, back surgery was performed on Robinson followed by physical therapy. Robinson continued to have complaints of pain despite various treatments provided to him. During February through March 2001, subrosa videotape showed Robinson walking without the use of a cane and moving without any signs of discomfort.

During his deposition, Robinson stated he always used his cane to walk because of his pain symptoms. Robinson’s treating physician reviewed the videotape and felt Robinson had deceived him during his March 20, 2001 medical evaluation about his level of disability. The treating physician originally rated Robinson at 100 percent disabled, but after reviewing the videotape, he rated Robinson at only 24 percent disabled. If Robinson received a 100 percent disability rating, Zenith Insurance Company would have had to pay Robinson $20,000 a year for the remainder of his life.

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