The Monterey County District Attorney announced that Elizabeth Hernandez, a Salinas resident and former caregiver with ResCare HomeCare, pled guilty on April 4, 2018 to insurance fraud and welfare fraud, both felonies.
She will be sentenced on June 27, 2018.
In July 2016, the District Attorney received an investigative lead from the workers’ compensation insurer for Ms. Hernandez’s employer – ResCare HomeCare. According to the referral, Ms. Hernandez sustained a work injury on September 5, 2015 and was ultimately placed on “unable to work” status.
Despite that restriction, she obtained a second caregiver job with the County of Monterey.
Despite receiving income from that second job in 2016, Ms. Hernandez failed to disclose that information to either ResCare HomeCare or to her workers’ compensation doctors. Had she disclosed her second job, the workers’ compensation benefits would have been reduced.
During the investigation, it was also determined that she failed to report her second job to the Department of Social Services. By omitting to disclose the second job to both the insurer and the Department of Social Services, she obtained income and benefits she was not entitled to.
On April 7, 2017, the District Attorney’s Workers’ Compensation Fraud Unit filed felony charges against Ms. Hernandez for insurance fraud, welfare fraud, and perjury. The case was investigated by District Attorney Investigator George Costa.
Under California criminal law, omitting to disclose material information in order to obtain benefits from a workers’ compensation insurer constitutes a felony violation of Penal Code section 550(b)(3). That felony carries a maximum penalty of 5 years in state prison and a fine of up to $50,000.
Similarly, failing to disclose employment income with the intent to obtain welfare benefits is a felony violation of Welfare & Institutions Code section 10980(c)(2). That felony carries a maximum possible penalty of 3 years in state prison and a maximum fine of $5,000