Lie, cheat and steal by committing insurance fraud and you can bet California Department of Insurance (CDI) detectives will catch up with you. Chip Kyle Bolton, 33, formerly of Salinas, found that out when a judge slapped him with the maximum sentence of eight years, eight months in jail.
Calling Bolton a "perennial liar," the Honorable Russell D. Scott sentenced Bolton on May 2, 2014. In addition to incarceration, Bolton is ordered to pay a total of $84,350 in restitution.
“Individuals that lie, exaggerate and falsify injuries with the intent to bilk the workers’ compensation system are stealing from every Californian,” said Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones. “My department remains steadfast in our mission to weed out these individuals and put an end to their deceitful and greedy practices.”
A jury found Bolton guilty of seven felony counts involving workers’ compensation fraud and welfare fraud charges. Evidence presented at the trial established that in 2011, Bolton reported an on the job injury to his employer. He received immediate and continued medical treatment under the workers’ compensation system and was placed on total temporary disability for injuries as he described to his doctor. Bolton also made statements to a claims adjuster that he could not stand for more than an hour, experienced a numbing sensation from his hips to his knee, and could not hold his baby daughter. On that same day, Bolton was caught on camera at the YMCA exercising on an elliptical machine and playing basketball. At his deposition, he denied engaging in the very activities that were captured on camera.
As for the welfare fraud, detectives established Bolton periodically received public assistance beginning in 2009. In 2012, while receiving that assistance, Bolton applied for and received unemployment insurance benefits from the Employment Development Department. Bolton signed documents attesting he was not receiving unemployment benefits when in fact he received and had cashed unemployment checks. Department of Social Services subsequently identified Bolton as ineligible to receive any benefits, because he did not accurately and truthfully provide information on all his income, expenses, and the number of persons in his household.
"It just astounds me how many people think they can cheat the system, cheat Californians, and get away with it," said Alan Barcelona, president of the California Statewide Law Enforcement Association (CSLEA) which represents CDI detectives. "CDI detectives have made a name for themselves based on their thorough, in-depth investigations that result in convictions or guilty pleas and incarceration and restitution. I only wish the state employed more of them, because you can bet the deceitful people who commit insurance fraud far outnumber our investigators. "