While the vast majority of workers’ compensation claims are not fraudulent (in a combined ten years of practicing on both the defense and plaintiffs’ side, I’ve seen exactly zero), some unfortunately are. Of those that are, some are more ridiculous than others or are caught in fairly comical ways. While there are all sorts of ways to be caught out in a lie, in the case of a California woman, an X-rated frolic in a public park was her undoing.
According to the Associated Press, 29-year old Modupe Adunni Martin of Hayward, California, formerly worked as a janitor for the Sequoia Union High School District in Redwood City. In February of 2009 she reported an ankle injury and claimed that it left her unable to walk. As a result, Martin made ten visits to doctors over a three-month period in 2009.
A co-worker was suspicious that Martin was exaggerating and alerted the school district, which then contacted investigators with that information. Investigators from the District Attorney’s insurance fraud unit began to use hidden cameras near the offices of doctors that Martin was seeing. She was seen in camera footage leaving her appointments on foot, without crutches. In August of 2009, Martin was caught on videotape tossing her crutches into a car, then running to meet up with her boyfriend in a public park.
She did this “little jog” while wearing high heels that she’d slipped on at a nearby gas station, according to a witness.
When Martin arrived at the park, she took part in a sex act that doctors concluded could not have been possible with an injured ankle, according to District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe.
“I guess love just helps one get over injuries,” Wagstaffe said in a phone interview last month.
Martin was arrested and charged with ten counts of insurance fraud. In October 2012 she pleaded no contest to felony workers’ compensation fraud. In December she was sentenced to nine months in jail in San Mateo County. In addition, she netted three years of supervised probation and was ordered to pay more than $79,000 in restitution. In summary: probably not worth it.