Farm worker charged with insurance fraud
Thursday, 24 September 2020
Fresno, CA, United States
A Sanger man will face felony insurance fraud charges after a forklift accident.
Eduardo Medina Ruelas, 46, faces multiple counts after allegedly collecting USD38,000 in workers' compensation insurance benefits and medical treatment following an injury at work in 2017.
According to the California Department of Insurance, Ruelas was placed on temporary disability after being struck by a forklift while working at Pitman Family Farms in June 2017. He did not return to work and, in follow-up visits to a doctor, complained of severe and widespread pain throughout his entire back and most of his body.
It was recommended that he return to work on light duty, but Ruelas claimed to be unable to work due to the persistent and severe pain.
In surveillance conducted while Ruelas was off work collecting disability benefits, he was caught on video visiting a casino, shopping, watering his lawn and transferring a large piano keyboard from the trunk of his vehicle into another vehicle. The footage showed Ruelas participating in activities that contradicted his claims of injury and inability to work, the department claims.