Video Surveillance Leads to Workers’ Comp Fraud Charges Against California Woman

March 22, 2021

Veronica Catalina Cortes-Ambrosio, 53, of Madera, Calif., was charged on two felony counts of insurance fraud after allegedly lying about physical limitations from an injury at work in an attempt to receive undeserved workers’ compensation benefits.

An investigation by the California Department of Insurance revealed on May 6, 2017, Cortes-Ambrosio was working for a farm labor company when she was struck with a gardening tool by a co-worker resulting in injuries to her right shoulder, neck and back. She was evaluated and received initial treatment for the alleged injuries, but the workers’ comp claim she filed was denied.

Cortes-Ambrosio reportedly continued to seek medical care and obtained legal counsel to pursue the claim, and then claimed to experience severe and nearly constant pain related to the injury and was unable to perform everyday activities such as sitting, standing, walking, reaching, and lifting.

Cortes-Ambrosio’s employer offered her modified duties due to her stated limitations, but she reportedly refused and did not return to work.

Video surveillance was obtained of Cortes-Ambrosio during the time she claimed physical limitations due to the injury that showed her cleaning in and around her home, doing yardwork, ascending and descending stairs, reaching overhead and lifting.

Cortes-Ambrosio’s claims of ongoing pain and an inability to perform basic work functions reportedly led to her employer’s insurance company paying roughly $48,140 in medical, investigative and legal costs.

Cortes-Ambrosio is scheduled to be arraigned on May 26. The case is being prosecuted by the Fresno County District Attorney’s Office.