LANCASTER – A teaching assistant that was assigned to the Antelope Valley Principal’s Administrative Unit has been charged with multiple counts of workers’ compensation insurance fraud, Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones announced Tuesday.
Gerard Padilla is accused of filing a fraudulent claim alleging he was hurt while breaking up a classroom fight. However, an investigation revealed Padilla was not injured at work and he allegedly lied to both doctors and investigators, officials said.
The following is the press release from the California Department of Insurance:
Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones today [Oct. 9] announced that Gerard Padilla, 45, an employee of the Los Angeles County Office of Education has been arrested and charged with five felony counts of workers’ compensation insurance fraud.
Padilla was arrested by detectives with the California Department of Insurance (CDI) Fraud Division with the assistance of officers from the Los Angeles County Probation Department.
He was booked at the Los Angeles County Sheriff Department’s Lancaster Station with bail set at $120,000.
According to CDI detectives, while employed by the Los Angeles County Office of Education as a Para-Educator (teaching assistant), Padilla filed a workers’ compensation claim alleging he injured his back while helping break up a physical altercation in a classroom.
At the time of the claim Padilla was assigned to the Antelope Valley Principal’s Administrative Unit.
However, the investigation discovered that Padilla was not injured at work and in addition, he did not offer any proof of injury unrelated to work.
Detectives learned that on March 30, 2009, Padilla was seen by a physician for an initial medical evaluation. He again stated he was hurt while breaking up the fight at school.
On April 15, 2009, Padilla provided false statements regarding the injury to a private investigator that was contracted to conduct an investigation into Padilla’s alleged injury.
On December 3, 2009, during a deposition, Padilla allegedly provided false testimony regarding the injury. The investigation concluded that Padilla fabricated the story about being injured while breaking up a fight at work, and then he allegedly lied to both doctors and investigators.
Padilla has been charged with five felony counts: four counts for violating Insurance Code Section 1871.4 (A) (1), Workers’ Compensation Insurance Fraud; and one count for violating Penal Code Section 664-118(A), Attempted Perjury.
If convicted on all counts, he could face up to five years in State Prison.
Padilla is currently out on bail and due back in court on October 15 to answer charges.