S. P. couple sentenced for workers compensation fraud, conspiracy
By Peggy Kelly
Santa Paula News
Published: September 20, 2013
By Peggy Kelly
Santa Paula Times
A Santa Paula woman and her husband were sentenced to jail time and the woman required to pay restitution after pleading guilty to workers compensation insurance fraud and conspiracy.
Keri Atwood was sentenced Tuesday to 36 months probation and 150 days in county jail after pleading guilty to four counts of workers’ compensation insurance fraud, according to a statement by District Attorney Greg Totten.
Atwood, 28, also had to repay $18,319 in restitution.
Her husband, Michael Atwood, 37, also entered a guilty plea to one count of conspiracy to commit workers’ compensation fraud and was sentenced to 36 months probation and 60 days in jail.
The case was investigated by the California Department of Insurance in Valencia, according to the Ventura County District Attorney’s Office.
Keri Atwood, a civilian employee of the records division of the Ventura County Sheriff’s Office, told her supervisors that she had injured her left ankle, an injury she reported as taking place when another VCSD employee accidentally ran into her with a mail cart injuring the back of her foot.
Atwood was placed on temporary totally disabled status and over a period of several months received more than $29,000 in disability pay.
During this time Atwood used crutches or a wheelchair to get to her doctor’s appointments.
After her appointments, Atwood was observed walking freely without the aid of crutches or a wheelchair and engaging in numerous other physical activities that Totten stated she had told doctors she could not do due to her injury.
Her husband was prosecuted because he drove Atwood to the doctor and failed to disclose her true physical condition, which led to his charge of conspiracy.
Keri Atwood paid the restitution to Ventura County at the time of her sentencing.