Pageant contestants seek the spotlight, but it was the limelight — on the Internet — that proved to be the incriminating evidence against a beauty pageant contestant collecting worker’s compensation for a fractured toe.
Shawna L. Palmer of Riverside started collected workers’ compensation benefits in March after fracturing her toe as a clerk at Stater Bros. Markets, according to a news release from the California Department of Insurance. She told her doctor during multiple visits that she couldn’t put weight on her foot or wear shoes for an extended period of time.
But a YouTube video of the 2014 Miss Toyota Long Beach Grand Prix beauty contest showed otherwise: She was seen walking around in high heels “without any signs of discomfort,” according to the Department of Insurance. “This suspect made the job of our departments’ detectives easier by openly participating in high profile events,” Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones said in a statement.
The news release said 22-year-old Palmer participated in at least two beauty contests while collecting workers’ compensation, even though her doctor had provided her an orthopedic boot, crutches and instructed her not to work.
According to officials, Shawna Lynn Palmer claimed to her employer March 10 that she was unable to continue working due to a foot injury she sustained as a clerk at Stater Bros. During multiple doctors visits, Palmer said she could not place any weight on her foot, could not wear any type of shoe for a period of time and could not move it in any direction. Palmer’s doctor provided her with an orthopedic shoe and crutches, and ordered her to refrain from working, along with elevating her foot whenever possible.
While collecting benefits, Palmer participated in at least two beauty contests, where she was seen walking in high heels without any signs of discomfort. It was the unusual delay back to work, however, that led investigators to look closer into the claim. Palmer was arrested after video evidence revealed her participation in the 2014 Miss Toyota Long Beach Grand Prix beauty contest.
If convicted, Palmer faces up to one year in county jail, three years of probation and must pay $24,000 in restitution.