Former Sheriff's Lieutenant Gets House Arrest for WC Fraud

                               

Las Vegas, NV (WorkersCompensation.com) - A former Santa Clara County Sheriff’s lieutenant has been sentenced to six months of house arrest after pleading no contest to making a fraudulent or false claim or statement. Authorities say 41-year old Mandy Henderson of Las Vegas faked injuries and collected disability payments as she was doing bodybuilding training. They said she already had a claim that stemmed from a work-related injury reported in October 2015.

Her latest claim was that she was no longer able to perform 20 out of the 31 ‘essential job functions,’ as an officer, which included frequently walking, climbing stairs, bending on occasion, jogging a mile in 12 minutes, and driving her patrol car. Henderson's claims were backed by the physician she saw in Palo Alto.

In January 2018, the county worker's compensation division and the Sherriff's Office initiated a formal investigation based on the suspicions that Henderson may have been lying about being unable to perform her job. The county placed her on modified duty at the time and hired a firm to conduct an investigation. The company performed surveillance on her in Las Vegas, where she had relocated.

A report that included in-depth details about the surveillance states that video showed Henderson carrying her child, driving a car by herself, using a stair-climber and treadmill, as well as lifting weights and performing demanding training. She was seen doing bench and shoulder presses, leg lifts, and push-ups. 

During the investigation, Henderson was asked to fly back to San Jose. But according to reports she said that she had "a lot of pain sitting down for longer periods." So, in February 2019 a Sheriff's captain and a county health injury prevention coordinator from Santa Clara flew to Las Vegas to meet with her.

The reports say that the meeting between all three was held at a Starbucks Coffee shop, and when Henderson walked in, she walked delicately and leaned on her husband Ken, who is a former Santa Clara police offer. She reportedly was showing signs of visible pains as she moved about. In previous status updates, she claimed that she was "unable to raise her young child normally due to her physical limitations and that she lies down on the couch for the majority of most days."

However, before and after the Starbucks meeting, she was seen on surveillance working out without any physical limitations. The Investigators reported that they obtained records showing that between May 2017, when Henderson moved to Las Vegas, and Feb 2018, she had gone to the gym approximately 208 times. 

After Henderson pleaded no contest to a single charge last month the District Attorney's Office dropped the felony charge of failing to divulge information, which would have affected her rights to insurance benefits that she was receiving and seeking.

Detectives that had been part of the investigation say that to secure millions of dollars in possible disability benefits Henderson planned of all this and was actively engaged in bodybuilding even though she was supposedly physically limited. The county has estimated that had Henderson's disability requirement been approved she would have received around $3.3 million over her life expectancy.

In a media release, Deputy District Attorney Vonda Tracey, stated "Charges against Henderson were particularly troubling given her many years in law enforcement.

"As a peace officer, she's responsible for the public trust. And as a lieutenant, she should be setting an example for other officers. As a peace officer, she's responsible for the public trust. She took advantage of a system that is in place to help injured first responders. She should be ashamed for discrediting the sacrifice of law enforcement professionals everywhere," the agency said in a statement. The true victims, in this case, are the injured employees that are recovering and actually planning to return to work."

WorkersCompensation.com reached out the Santa Clara County Sheriff's Department and the District Attorney's Office, but they did not respond before press time. 

The felony conviction has ended Henderson's career as a police officer and she is now subject to a lifetime ban from having any ammunition or firearms in her possession. After she was indicted, she had resigned from the Sheriff's Office.  In addition to the house arrest, Henderson has also been ordered to pay restitution for any benefits she received before her arrest back Dec. 2018, in addition to three years of probation.


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