Carlos Maldonado Romero, 49, alleged an industrial injury to his mid and low back while working as a dairy milker for Foster Dairy Farms dba Crystal Creamery (“Foster Farms”) in Fresno. He was working under the name of Carlos Maldonado and filed the Workers’ Compensation claim under that name.
During a qualified medical evaluation, Carlos Maldonado specifically denied any previous injuries to his thoracic and/or lumbar spine. Following the qualified medical evaluation, it was discovered while reviewing subpoenaed records that Carlos Maldonado also used the name of Carlos Maldonado Romero. Further investigation revealed prior workers’ compensation claims filed under the alias of Carlos Maldonado Romero with a different Social Security Number. Additional subpoenaed records provided evidence that Romero had two prior workers’ compensation claims, one while working as a roofer and the other while working as a milker. Both prior claims included injury to his back and resulted in settlement of the claims including a 13 percent permanent disability rating with a $20,000 settlement and a 55 percent permanent disability rating with a $65,000 settlement.
Foster Farms referred the case to their Special Investigation Unit provided by Probe Information Services. The material misrepresentations made to the qualified medical evaluator of his denial of prior back injuries provided evidence of attempted theft of permanent disability. Therefore, Probe Information referred the case to the Stanislaus County District Attorney’s Office and the CA Department of Insurance for suspected Workers’ Compensation Fraud. A criminal investigation was completed and the Stanislaus County District Attorney’s Office filed criminal charges. Romero was charged with two Felony counts of California Insurance Fraud Code and two Felony Penal Code counts.
Romero was convicted as he pleaded no contest to Penal Code 529(a)(3) Unlawful False Personation of Another. Romero was ordered to three years of summary probation, 160 hours of community service and to pay $3,500 in restitution to Foster Farms.