A former Los Angeles Police Department officer was recently arrested and charged with two felony counts of workers’ compensation insurance fraud and one felony count of grand theft. According to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office, the ex-cop claimed fake injuries before resigning in order to receive pay and benefits that he was not entitled to.
While on disability leave in 2015, LAPD Officer Michael Simon allegedly engaged in activities inconsistent with his claimed injuries. Before resigning from the department in 2016, Simon also falsely represented the nature of his injuries to his employer in order to illegally collect additional financial assistance, according to Deputy District Attorney Arunas Sodonis of the Healthcare Fraud Division.
Investigators from the Los Angeles Police Department, Special Operations Division, working in partnership with the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Healthcare Fraud Division, as well as the Los Angeles City Attorney’s Office, reportedly established probable cause to believe that Simon knowingly engaged in physical activities inconsistent with his claimed injury while off work on disability. On Thursday, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced that Simon was arrested this week in the City of Manhattan Beach and charged with two felony counts of workers’ compensation insurance fraud and one felony count of grand theft of more than $950.
If convicted, Simon could face up to six years and eight months behind bars. Before resigning from the department, Simon served 12 years as an LAPD officer.
In 2008, the LAPD’s Workers Compensation Fraud Unit was expanded to investigate workers’ comp fraud and other allegations involving abuse of benefits by City employees. As of January 2018, the Workers’ Compensation Fraud Unit has made six arrests of Department employees for workers’ comp fraud.