December 16, 2017

CA Police Officer Pleads Guilty to Workers’ Comp Fraud

Santa Barbara, CA – Santa Barbara County District Attorney Joyce E. Dudley recently announced that Jacob Finerty, 28 years old, of Hesperia, California, pled to four counts of Felony Workers’ Compensation Fraud.

Mr. Finerty was employed as a police officer with the Santa Barbara Police Department. At the time of his employment he made what appeared to be fraudulent misrepresentations in the come of a Workers’ Compensation Claim. Sergeant Jill Beecher of the Santa Barbara Police Department thoroughly investigated his assertions and sent her findings to Deputy District Attorney Gary Gemberling, who filed four felony counts of Workers’ Compensation Fraud.

Officer Finerty claimed to have injured his lower back in an on-duty traffic accident. He further claimed that he was unable to perform his usual and customary employment duties due to this back injury. During this same period of time, Finerty was observed on multiple occasions lifting heavy weights, engaging in strength competitions, and competing in MAS Wrestling events. Many of Mr. Finerty’s activities were captured on video and photographs, posted on social media websites, and could have been used as evidence in his criminal trial.

Jacob Finerty entered an open plea to all charges. There was no plea agreement between Finerty and the District Attorney’s Office.

Judge Clifford Anderson, following a recommendation from the Santa Barbara County Probation Department, sentenced Finerty to 120 days in jail, placed him on five years’ probation, and ordered him to make restitution to the City of Santa Barbara in the sum of $115,669.86.

District Attorney Joyce E. Dudley commended the Santa Barbara Police Department for their comprehensive investigation. Dudley also stated, “The fraud committed by the defendant was paid for by the taxpayers of the City of Santa Barbara, the very same people the defendant was hired to protect. His criminal actions caused a significant breach of the public’s trust and resulted in his status changing from Santa Barbara Police Officer to a Felon.”

“The District Attorney’s Office and our Workers’ Compensation Fraud Unit are committed to identifying and prosecuting those individuals who abuse our Workers’ Compensation System.”

Source: SB County DA’s Office

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