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Victorville woman faces 19 years for fraud
DA says Arrieta lied about foot injury
VICTORVILLE • A Victorville woman is facing up to 19 years in prison for workers' compensation fraud and perjury, according to a Tuesday news release from the San Bernardino County District Attorney's office.
Maria Arrieta, 51, is scheduled to be arraigned April 18 at the Victorville courthouse on seven counts of presenting false documentation for compensation and seven more counts of perjury, court records show.
According to a DA statement provided by Senior Investigator Jose Guzman, Arrieta filed a claim in 2010 alleging she slipped and fell on the job at a McDonald’s restaurant while removing a case of meat from the freezer.
But, according to Guzman, the suspect told her primary care physician that she had sustained her foot injury at home — not at work.
Arrieta then saw a foot specialist and “advised the doctor that she injured her foot at home on her day off from work,” Guzman reported. The specialist submitted paperwork to the Employment Development Department indicating a non-work-related injury.
But Arrieta then obtained a workers’ compensation attorney who filed a claim for her in May 2011, alleging that a slip-and-fall foot injury occurred at McDonald’s while she was working.
The insurance company referred the case to the DA’s Office Workers’ Compensation Insurance Fraud Unit in October 2011.
Arrieta was arrested Feb. 12, a day after criminal charges were filed against her by the DA’s Workers’ Compensation Insurance Fraud Unit.
“Generally speaking, this one came to light pretty easily,” said Deputy District Attorney Scott Byrd, who is prosecuting the case. “Most of the time suspects are trying to hide it somehow — be more sophisticated in their lying — but in this case she went to the doctor for a non-industrial injury, then later tried to claim it as an industrial injury.”
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