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An employee for a building remodeling company was sentenced  to six months in county jail for cashing in disability checks under the false pretence of being unable to work.

Angel Monzon, 53, Santa Ana, pleaded guilty on Feb. 18, 2015, to one felony count of insurance fraud and two felony counts of making fraudulent statements. He was sentenced to 180 days in Orange County jail and three years of probation. Monzon paid over $25,000 in restitution.

On April 19, 2010, Monzon worked as a granite installer for Fermol Inc. in Huntington Beach. While working, Monzon lost his balance and fell while carrying a large piece of granite, which broke and landed on the defendant’s right thigh and knee. Monzon was placed on temporary total disability (TTD).

Monzon received over $24,000 from TTD benefits. The defendant reported to doctors that he was unable to work as a result of the injuries he suffered and had limited physical abilities.

Despite claiming his injury prevented him from working, Monzon resumed work as a granite installer and collected an income from a new job while illegally continuing to accept disability benefits.

On Aug. 1, 2012, Monzon’s original employer reported to the insurance company that the defendant had resumed working for himself or another company in a similar line of work. The defendant never returned to work for Fermol Inc.

On Jan. 30, 2013, Monzon lied under oath by falsely stating the following in a deposition: claiming to not have worked since the date of the injury; his sole income came from TTD benefits; the last date he worked was on April 11, 2012; not performing any activities involving granite since the date of the injury; not loading or unloading any granite since the date of the injury; not lifting anything over five pounds since the date of the injury; and not using a grinder, sander, or buffer since the date of the injury.

The California Department of Insurance (CDI) began investigating this case after receiving video surveillance footage of the defendant working on manual labor projects similar to those performed prior to his injury. Monzon was paid over $54,000 working for a new business while illegally receiving and cashing disability checks. He was arrested by the Orange County Sheriff’s Department on Aug. 20, 2014.

Deputy District Attorney Pamela Leitao of the Insurance Fraud Unit prosecuted this case.