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Workers' Compensation

California Man Guilty Of Workers’ Compensation Fraud

Many people think that they aren’t paid enough for the work that they do. Many people in today’s economy are living paycheck-to-paycheck. Some people ask for raises, other people deal with the hand they have been dealt. A scant few decide to scam the system for a chance at easy money.

Anyone who has thought of filing a false claim for workers’ compensation should look to Howard Neel and think again.

Neel, of Oroville, California, is now facing up to five years in prison. Additionally, he could be forced to pay back up to $200,000 after being convicted of fraud. The man was convicted last week on five separate counts of workers’ compensation fraud.

According to the Butte County District Attorney’s Office, Neel was working as a security officer for a company in December of 2009. On December 12 of that year, Neel was fueling the company vehicle at a gas station when another vehicle backed into him. Neel’s vehicle moved backwards, and Neel reported that he had been knocked down.

Claiming to have leg, back, and neck pain, Neel sought medical attention at a local hospital. He was removed from his duties at work due to his injuries.

During the trial, it was deemed that Neel had told his doctors that the impact caused his vehicle to spin around and knock him down. According to surveillance tapes, the impact was minor and the vehicle did not spin. Neel was seen walking normally on the tape immediately after the impact, and he began limping when the other vehicle’s driver saw him. As soon as the other driver left the scene, Neel began to walk normally again.

Neel was shown to have reported several different injuries to employers, seeking coverage under workers’ compensation. Photos and videos consistently disproved Neel’s story of those events as well.

Neel will be sentenced on September 24 of this year. He is facing up to five years in prison, and he may be forced to pay back between $100,000 and $200,000. The California Department of Insurance Fraud Division is credited with assistance in the investigation against Neel.

If you have been injured at work and need a lawyer, our experienced workers’ compensation attorneys are here to fight for your rights. We will work hard to help get you any compensation that you may be entitled to by law. Call us today for a free initial consultation.

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