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Former CHP Officer Tony Yao Convicted in Workers' Comp Fraud Case


District Attorney Jan Scully announced today that former California Highway Patrol (CHP) Officer Tony Yao was convicted by jury on felony charges of failure to disclose a prior motor vehicle accident and resulting injury, making false statements in support of his workers’ compensation claim and filing a false claim.

Yao was a CHP officer working in the Commissioner’s Support Unit when he alleged a work injury to his back. The claim was administered by the State Compensation Insurance Fund. The CHP’s Internal Affairs Workers’ Compensation Fraud Unit investigated the claim. Evidence proved that Yao failed to disclose and concealed a motor vehicle accident in 2005, which caused injury to the same part of his back that he alleged he injured in his workers’ compensation claim. Yao claimed he was unable to work because he could not bend, twist, walk without a cane and needed help with every day activities such as washing and dressing. 

Video surveillance showed Yao was able to walk normally without a cane, bend and twist with ease, and he was able to pound stakes in his front yard to mount a flag. Yao also claimed he mistakenly gave the wrong date of when his injury occurred on his workers’ compensation claim form and filed an amended claim to change the date. Evidence proved Yao changed the date to conform to information contained in his medical records in an effort to conceal his pre-existing back injury from the State Compensation Insurance Fund.

Yao faces a maximum potential sentence of 7 years and fines of up to $250,000 (or double the amount of the fraud, whichever is greater). Sentencing is set for January 28, 2015 in Department 22 before the Honorable Russell Hom.

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