SANTA ANA – On August 19, 2016, Angel Monzon, 53, of Santa Ana, was sentenced to six months in jail, three years of probation and restitution of more than $25,000 for cashing disability checks under the false pretense that he was unable to work. Monzon pleaded guilty on Feb. 18, 2015 to one felony count of insurance fraud and two felony counts of making fraudulent statements.
Investigators with the California Department of Insurance began investigating Monzon after receiving video surveillance footage of him working while receiving disability benefits.
"Insurance investigators are very good at what they do, and that's tracking down, investigating and arresting people who fraudulently collected disability or commit any other type of insurance fraud," said California Statewide Law Enforcement Association (CSLEA) President Alan Barcelona.
Monzon, a granite installer, became injured on the job on April 18, 2010. He lost his balance and fell while carrying a large piece of granite, which broke and landed on his right thigh and knee. Monzon was placed on temporary total disability (TTD).
Monzon received more than $24,000 from TTD benefits. He reported to doctors that he was unable to work as a result of the injuries he suffered and had limited physical abilities.
Despite claiming his injury prevented him from working, Monzon resumed work as a granite installer and collected an income from a new job while illegally continuing to accept disability benefits. On Aug. 1, 2012, Monzon’s original employer reported to the insurance company that Monzon had resumed working for himself or another company in a similar line of work.
On Jan. 30, 2013, Monzon lied under oath by claiming to not have worked since the date of the injury; that his sole income came from TTD benefits; that the last date he worked was on April 11, 2012; that he was not performing any activities involving granite since the date of the injury; not loading or unloading any granite since the date of the injury; not lifting anything over five pounds since the date of the injury; and not using a grinder, sander, or buffer since the date of the injury.
Video surveillance showed Monzon working on manual labor projects similar to those performed prior to his injury. Monzon was paid more than $54,000 working for a business while illegally receiving and cashing disability checks. He was arrested by the Orange County Sheriff’s Department on Aug. 20, 2014.