On October 4th, 2022

Vocational School Executives Arrested in Workers’ Compensation Fraud Scheme Injured workers seeking vocational rehabilitation services were left without training

“Benefits meant to assist in the return of injured workers to the workforce are not up for grabs and for the taking.  This is money meant to help people with training so that they may continue employment to support themselves and their families.” – CSLEA President Alan  Barcelona

Gustavo Adolfo Lopez

Rene Carlos Aguero,

LOS ANGELES — On September 28, 2022, 71, and Gustavo Adolfo Lopez, 56, were arrested for allegedly submitting fraudulent vocational training vouchers for workers’ compensation claims and failing to provide the training at the for-profit school they run, Computer Institute of Technology (CIT). Many of the injured workers were Spanish speakers who were asked to sign documents in English, which they did not understand.

Based upon an investigation by the California Department of Insurance, Aguero and Lopez were charged with 18 felony counts, including conspiracy, insurance fraud, grand theft and forgery. The fraudulent insurance claims are estimated to reach $1.7 million.

“Injured workers who were looking for a fresh start and returning to the job market were left without the training they were entitled to because of unscrupulous people with no regard for their future,” said Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara.

Over three years from January 2017 to February 2020, Aguero and Lopez allegedly submitted fraudulent documents to nine different insurance carriers and billed for services not rendered to recipients of the Supplemental Job Displacement Benefits (SJDB) voucher, valued between $6,000 and $10,000. Injured workers can use the non-transferable vouchers to pay for educational retraining or skill enhancement at state-approved or accredited schools, according to the Department of Industrial Relations.

Aguero is listed in California Secretary of State records as chief executive officer of CIT’s North Hollywood location, and Lopez as chief executive officer of the school’s location in the city of Bell. CIT is alleged to have victimized multiple injured workers by enrolling them in vocational rehabilitation courses, using their SJDB voucher and not providing the classes. In addition, CIT failed to refund the injured workers after redeeming their SJDB voucher and not providing the classes for which they were registered to take.

The investigation determined that CIT forged injured workers’ signatures on vocational school documents such as CIT enrollment agreements, vouchers, and contracts. In some cases, injured workers were asked to sign blank documents with no explanation. On one occasion, CIT sent an invoice for payment and an enrollment agreement to an insurance carrier with a signature and initials purportedly made by the injured worker, despite the fact the injured worker had died nearly 5 months prior to the date on the enrollment agreement.

Many injured workers were made to believe they were enrolled in a legitimate school, but never received or completed training. Some workers contacted CIT to follow up on their training, but received no help from CIT, including laptops for which CIT invoiced multiple insurance carriers.

On September 9, 2022, the Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office filed felony criminal charges and issued an arrest warrant for Aguero and Lopez.

Aguero’s bail was set at $150,000. His arraignment is scheduled for December 5, 2022. The case is being prosecuted by the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office.
 

California Statewide
Law Enforcement Association

Headquarters:
2600 River Plaza Drive
#250
Sacramento, CA 95833 916.447.5262
800.522.2873
Southern Office:
5762 Bolsa Ave, Suite 104
Huntington Beach, CA 92649
714.894.4411
Member Association of PORAC

About CSLEA

CSLEA Board and OfficersAffiliatesCSLEA Foundation

News Center

Monthly NewsletterCalendarVideos

Contact CSLEA

Legal

Legal StaffAdmonishment StatementLegal Defense FundKnow Your Rights VideosLegal FAQLegal Representation CommitteePeace Officer Bill of Rights

Politics

CSLEA Legislative UpdateLegislative Request FormLegislationPAC EndorsementsGeneral Election Results

Membership

Join CSLEAAddress Update
Member Services StaffMembership ServicesMember BenefitsScholarshipCSLEA DiscountsSupervisors & Managers
© Copyright  - California Statewide Law Enforcement Association
twitterfacebookyoutube-playinstagramvimeo