In August 2017, Jose Zepeda, now 45, filed a workers’ compensation claim after he was reportedly injured while working for a Fresno construction company.
When the company could not accommodate Zepeda’s work restrictions, he began collecting disability benefits. Zepeda was instructed to notify the insurance company handling his workers’ compensation case if he began working again as this would be a factor in the benefits he was receiving.
A year later, Zepeda was surveilled commuting to and from a work site where he appeared to be employed as a construction worker. Zepeda was deposed and when asked by a claims adjuster if he found new employment, he testified he only worked for one week in May of 2018.
However, employee records showed Zepeda worked from April 2018 up until when the records were subpoenaed in March 2019.
Given his apparent ability to work, Zepeda was not entitled to the $17,278 in disability benefits he received. Furthermore, his claim would be deemed fraudulent and the alleged lies about his employment dates during his deposition opened him up to perjury charges.
On January 21, 2021, Zepeda self-surrendered at the Fresno County Jail. The case against him involving multiple felony counts of insurance fraud and attempted perjury will be prosecuted by the Fresno County District Attorney’s Office. His arraignment date is set for March 15, 2021.