​For release on February 6, 2015  CONTACT:
Christopher Kwok, Deputy District Attorney
Insurance Fraud Unit/Economic Crimes Group
(408) 792-2916   TRUCK DRIVER CONVICTED OF WORKERS’ COMPENSATION FRAUD
A truck driver, who was working as a youth basketball referee while collecting tens of thousands of dollars in disability payments for a workers’ compensation injury, was sentenced today to 4 months in county jail.
Despite saying he was unable to work due to a foot injury, Dave Arness Newman, 53, of Los Banos, was videotaped moving easily up and down a Menlo Park basketball court for hours during a series of games.
Newman was convicted in December by a jury of attempted perjury and insurance fraud, both felonies. The Hon. Michele McKay McCoy sentenced Newman to jail, as well as 5 years of formal probation. He will be ordered to pay full restitution to the insurance carrier he defrauded.
“Fraudulent claims impact the trust that exists between the employer and the injured employees,” Deputy District Attorney Christopher Kwok said. “But its financial effects are potentially far more serious, and could impact other employees with lower pay or even the viability of the business.”
The evidence presented during the two-week jury trial showed that the defendant was injured at work on June 27, 2007. After it was determined that he was unable to work, he collected multiple disability checks from his employer’s workers’ compensation insurance carrier. Evidence showed that in November 2007 the defendant engaged in paid employment as a referee and a referee coordinator while collecting the disability checks from the insurance carrier. A private investigator hired by the insurance carrier filmed the defendant refereeing the basketball games, washing and waxing his car, and lifting up his children’s bicycles.
When the defendant was deposed under oath by the insurance carrier in December 2007 he stated that he did not earn any income while receiving disability checks from the insurance carrier.
California law requires all businesses that have employees to maintain workers’ compensation insurance coverage. The assessed insurance premium is based on a number of factors, including the nature of the business, its safety record, and the employees’ wages as reported by the employer.   ###

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