LOS ANGELES – The owners of a medical marijuana dispensary in the Antelope Valley were arrested on multiple felony counts of insurance fraud, the state Department of Insurance announced Tuesday.
Owners Jabe Satterfield and Tiffany Shorter failed to carry workers’ compensation benefits for their employees and they allegedly told a security officer to lie about his employment status after he sustained severe injuries from two separate robberies at the dispensary, leaving him without benefits and responsible for expensive medical bills, state officials said in a press release.
Satterfield, 77, was arrested April 6, and he was arraigned and released pending a May 18 court appearance in the downtown Criminal Courts building, state officials said. Shorter, 26, was arrested April 14 and released, pending a tentative May 18 arraignment at the downtown Criminal Courts building.
The pair owned the Green Cactus Collective Medical Marijuana Dispensary, which was located at 36153 Sierra Highway, according to the Department of Insurance. A new medical marijuana dispensary is now located at this location, and it has not been verified if Shorter and Satterfield are associated with the new business, state officials said.
In November of 2013, a security officer was shot three times while suspects robbed the dispensary. (Read more here.) Shorter and Satterfield allegedly told their employee to lie to hospital personnel by saying he was a volunteer and not an employee, which made him ineligible for workers’ compensation insurance benefits, according to the Department of Insurance.
“The employee, without workers’ compensation benefits and in fear of losing his job, continued working,” state officials said in a press release.
In December of 2013, the dispensary was robbed again and the same employee, while still recovering from gunshot wounds from the prior attack, was beaten with a firearm and sustained further injuries, according to the Department of Insurance.
“Again, the lack of coverage by his employers left him without medical benefits and liable for all medical expenses,” state officials said in a press release.
Shorter and Satterfield face up to four years in prison each if convicted, state officials said.
Previous related story: Palmdale pot clinic shootout