Santa Ana, CA – Two married former Tustin Police Officers have been charged with numerous felonies related to false workers’ compensation claims they filed with the City of Tustin, claiming they both suffered chronic back pain due to wearing their full duty belt and vest while on duty that prevented them from working.
Video surveillance, and the couple’s own photos and videos, showed the former officers engaged in an active lifestyle while being paid workers’ compensation wages for their injuries. The couple was documented vacationing in Mammoth that included mountain biking and boating, flying internationally to go on a scuba diving trip as well as working on various home improvement projects.
Kendal Hurd, and her husband, Kyle Hurd, have both been charged with multiple felony counts of insurance fraud as well as multiple counts of perjury or attempted perjury. If convicted of any of the charged felonies, they will lose any pension benefits that accrued from the date of the commission of the crime and they will be prohibited from working as peace officers in the future.
Kendal Hurd faces a maximum sentence of 11 years in state prison if convicted on all counts. Kyle Hurd faces a maximum sentence of nine years and six months in state prison if convicted on all counts.
Kendal Hurd worked as a police officer for the City of Santa Barbara for 2 ½ years before joining the Tustin Police Department in April 2015. Kyle Hurd worked as a police officer for the City of Montclair for three years before joining the Tustin Police Department in June 2014. They were terminated in July 2021.
Tustin Police Officer Kyle Hurd filed a workers’ compensation claim on December 7, 2018, claiming he was suffering constant back pain as a result of wearing his duty belt and gear, as well as getting in and out of his patrol car. Less than a year later, on October 16, 2019, after returning to work from the international scuba trip, Kendal Hurd filed a nearly identical workers’ compensation claim as her husband, alleging that her chronic back pain resulted from wearing her duty belt and vest as well as twisting while getting in and out of her patrol vehicle.
The Hurds both told their workers’ compensation doctors that their pain increased with activity and improved with rest. They never disclosed to their doctors that they in fact were capable of doing much more than what they represented.
The City of Tustin initiated the surveillance after both Kendal and Kyle Hurd had been receiving medical care for numerous months for the same condition without seeing improvement.
Surveillance revealed the couple engaging in active lifestyles, including sliding down a water slide, lifting children, riding bikes, paddle boarding, and going to Pilates classes, as well as spending time playing in the water at Lake Mission Viejo.
Those activities directly contradicted what the Hurds told their doctors and what they testified to at their depositions under oath. Kendal Hurd claimed she couldn’t lift more than three pounds unless supervised during physical therapy and she could not stand for longer than five minutes without experiencing severe pain.
After Kyle Hurd was suspended, it was discovered that he sent a text to one of his friends that bragged about receiving unnecessary medical treatment because he was a good actor.
“Workers’ compensation fraud results in honest, hardworking business and government entities losing more than $30 billion a year,” said Orange County District Attorney Todd Spitzer. “This is such an egregious breach of the public’s trust by two people who were sworn to uphold our laws, not break them. We will not allow those who commit workers’ compensation fraud to go unpunished, and we will do everything we can to return the fraudulently paid money back to the taxpayers of Tustin.”
Senior Deputy District Attorney Pam Leitao of the Insurance Fraud Unit is prosecuting this case.
Source: Orange County DA’s Office