An employee for a building remodeling company was scheduled to be arraigned Thursday for allegedly cashing in $24,000 in disability checks after telling doctors he could not work–and then working somewhere else installing granite and earning $54,000.
Angel Monzon, 51, of Santa Ana, was charged with 24 felony counts of insurance fraud, seven felony counts of perjury under oath, and four felony counts of making fraudulent statements. Held on $39,000 bail heading into the hearing, Monzon could get up to 30 years in state prison with a conviction, according to the Orange County District Attorney's office (OCDA).
Monzon lost his balance while working for Fermol Inc. in Huntington Beach on April 19, 2010, when he dropped a large piece of granite that landed on his right thigh and knee and broke. He was placed on temporary total disability and received more than $24,000 in TTD benefits, reporting to doctors that he was unable to work as a result of the injuries he suffered and has limited physical abilities, prosecutors say.
But Monzon actually kept working as a granite installer on a new job–while illegally continuing to accept disability benefits, according to the OCDA. Fermol outed Monzon for working for himself or another company on Aug. 1, 2012.
He is accused of making matters worse for himself on Jan. 30, 2013, when he allegedly lied in a deposition. According to prosecutors, Monzon claimed under oath to: not have worked since the date of the injury; only earn income from TTD benefits; have not worked since April 11, 2012; not have performed any activities involving granite since the date of the injury; not to have loaded or unloaded any granite since the date of the injury; to not have lifted anything over 5 pounds since the date of the injury; and not using a grinder, sander or buffer since the date of the injury.
But a California Department of Insurance investigation produced video evidence of Monzon "working on manual labor projects similar to those performed prior to his injury," the OCDA say. Arrested Wednesday by sheriff's deputies, Monzon allegedly earned more than $54,000 from a new business while illegally receiving and cashing disability checks.