San Mateo County Correctional Officer Pleads No Contest in WC Fraud

                               

San Mateo County, CA (WorkersCompensation.com) — Edmundo Rocha, a 44-year-old former correctional officer in San Mateo County, has been convicted of workers' compensation fraud.  District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe announced that the 20-year veteran of the sheriff's office pleaded no contest to one misdemeanor count via his attorney. Rocha will serve 10 days in jail and e two years of  probation. According to the San Mateo County Sheriff’s Office,  Rocha had resigned from his job as a correctional officer on Jan.3. 

In 2016, Edmundo had reported a work-related injury that he said happened a month earlier while he was training in defensive tactics. He was diagnosed with a sprain to this left shoulder and awarded worker’s compensation benefits. Eventually, he was placed on total temporary disability.

According to the district attorney, Rocha participated in a Spartan Race nine days after was relieved of his duties. That event consists of an array of obstacle races of varying distances and difficulty, ranging from three to 26 miles.

One month later Rocha saw a specialist about his job-related injuries, but neglected to mention that he had participated in the Spartan Race. Wagstaffe says the Sheriff’s office eventually reported the case, and “the investigators from the state Workers’ Compensation Board alerted to the potential fraud and notified my Fraud Division. We investigated and determined the fraud had occurred.”  Investigators discovered there was video coverage of him in the race.

WorkersCompensation.com obtained the misdemeanor complaint against Edmundo Rocha, and those documents state that on or around January 27, 2017, Rocha conspired to conceal and knowingly had failed to disclose the occurrence of an event that affected his rights and entitlement to workers’ compensation benefits.

In a statement to WorkersCompensation.com Wagstaffe said “Workers compensation fraud demonstrates a deplorable lack of honesty and integrity and is an insult to all the excellent employees who are legitimately unable to work."

Rocha was ordered by Judge Susan Greenberg to pay $5,000 in restitution to the county. He is current out on his recognizance and must surrender to authorities by March 23 to serve the jail sentence.

 


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