Austin, TX – Texas Mutual Insurance Company recently reported that a Travis County district court sentenced Carolina Villanueva of New Braunfels, Texas, on fraud-related workers’ compensation charges.
Villanueva reported a job-related injury while working as a home health aide for Hill Country Community MHMR Center in Kerrville, Texas, and claimed she was unable to work because of her injury. Texas Mutual began paying income benefits to her, but then discovered Villanueva was working as a community service aide for another company. Investigators call this type of scam ‘double-dipping’ because the claimant collects benefits for being too injured to work when he or she is, in fact, gainfully employed.
The Texas Department of Insurance’s Division of Workers’ Compensation prosecutor in Travis County presented the case for indictment. The court sentenced Villanueva to a Class A misdemeanor with two years deferred adjudication and 160 community service hours. She will pay $7,025 in restitution to Texas Mutual.
Texas law requires claimants to contact their workers’ comp carrier when they return to work. Left unchecked, double-dipping and other workers’ comp fraud can lead to higher premiums for all Texas employers.
Source: Texas Mutual