Member of the Month: Markell Incorporated
A MESSAGE FROM THE DISTRICT ATTORNEY
Workers’ compensation Insurance exists to protect both the employer and employee. While there are exceptions, the State of California legally requires most employers have Workers’ Compensation Insurance. Workers’ compensation insurance provides injured employees with medical care, monetary benefits and other beneficial care. Workers’ Compensation Insurance is in place to assist injured workers who have legitimately been hurt on the job, as well as to protect employers against potential future lawsuits.
Workers’ compensation fraud is a local and statewide issue. According to the California Department of Insurance, workers’ compensation fraud is a $30 billion problem annually in the United States, and in the State of California, it is estimated that workers’ compensation fraud costs the state between $1 billion to $3 billion per year. Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara called it “a multi-billion dollar drain on our state’s economy.” The Sonoma County District Attorney’s Office is committed to prosecuting workers’ compensation criminal fraud cases. Conviction of workers’ compensation fraud carries serious consequences ranging from time in jail, to large fines and other collateral effects.
As your District Attorney, I urge you to learn to recognize the red flags indicating potential workers’ compensation fraud. Insurance companies are required to report suspected workers’ compensation fraud to the California Department of Insurance and are allowed to provide copies of those reports to the local District Attorney for investigation and possible prosecution. Working together to combat fraud will save millions of dollars and will result in more effective, efficient treatment for legitimate injuries.
Injuries, accidents and illnesses can occur while at work and most are legitimate. Occasionally they are not. Employers must carry Workers’ Compensation Insurance or certified that they are self-insured through the State of California. It is illegal for an employer to operate without Workers’ Compensation coverage when they are required to have it, and it is illegal for employees to make fraudulent misrepresentations to obtain benefits to which they are otherwise not entitled.
The Sonoma County District Attorney’s Insurance Fraud Unit has literature available for Employees and Employers in both Spanish and English. We have a Business Outreach Program and we are able to participate in Zoom meetings, presentations and other workforce outreach if desired. Contact our office if you or anyone you know is interested in learning more about our Outreach Program.
For questions about Workers’ Compensation laws and requirements, contact our office or the California Department of Insurance for assistance.
HOW TO REACH US:
ABOUT OUR SPEAKERS:
Deputy District Attorney Amy Ariyoshi was admitted to the California State Bar in 2002 and was hired by the Sonoma County District Attorney's Office in 2004. DDA Ariyoshi worked a wide array of assignments throughout the District Attorney's Office prior to being assigned to the Environmental Consumer Law Division (ECLD) approximately fifteen years ago. Since that time, DDA Ariyoshi has prosecuted cases involving Public Monies and Assistance Fraud, complex embezzlement cases, large I.D. theft schemes, and all types of Insurance fraud cases such as automobile, general and workers' compensation crimes. DDA Ariyoshi's expertise in Workers' Compensation Fraud related crimes is the subject of today's presentation.
Kris Allen is an Investigator with the Workers Compensation Fraud Unit of the Sonoma County District Attorneys Office
6119 Old Redwood Hwy Unit B1 Santa Rosa, CA 95403
Since 1957, Markell Inc. has been providing excellent service to the Law enforcement and Fire communities. With our beginning as a bullet manufacturer, we have evolved into one of Sonoma County's premier firearms dealers, law enforcement gear suppliers and dealer and repair of the esteemed Streamlight flashlights. Our knowledgeable staff provides unsurpassed, personalized customer service you can't find in a big box store