Working as a 52-year-old librarian at a California State Prison proved to be too much for Rosa Cazares Pitones, who was arrested and charged with three counts of insurance fraud and one count of grand theft in March.
According to the California Department of Insurance (CDI), Pitones filed a workers’ compensation injury claim with State Compensation Insurance Fund back in July 2004. Authorities said that the injury reportedly occurred while Pitones was moving office furniture out of her work area at the Centinela State Prison. She was out of work for a year, claiming shoulder and back pain prevented her return. Though she attempted to return in August 2006, Pitones quickly succumbed to another back injury and claimed she was unable to fulfill her librarian duties.
A joint investigation by CDI, the California Department of Corrections Office of Investigative Services and Office of Internal Affairs, and the Imperial County District Attorney’s Office revealed that Pitones was employed by the Imperial Valley College as a full-time assistant librarian. Despite claiming otherwise, she had been working full-time while collecting almost $21,000 in workers’ compensation payments.
As part of her claim, Pitones stated that she was unable to do the work of a Department of Corrections Librarian due to her injuries. She also made statements to her treating physician that she was not able to work while she was employed as a full-time librarian at the college.
“I will not tolerate insurance fraud in California,” said California’s Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner. “Any individual who commits insurance fraud should know that teams of fraud investigators will track you down and put you in jail, where you belong.”