Crime - Sacto 911

West Sacramento woman pleads guilty in case involving false workers’ comp claims

A West Sacramento woman has pleaded guilty to wire fraud in a case that involved filing false workers’ compensation claims for a former National Football League player.

Kimberly Jones, 40, entered the plea Thursday and agreed to submit to a restitution order of at least $1.5 million, according to a U.S. Attorney’s Office news release.

Court documents indicate that from September 2001 through August 2011, Jones was employed as a senior claims representative, or claims adjuster, at Gallagher Bassett Services Inc. in its Sacramento office. Gallagher Bassett was a third-party administrator that managed, among other things, workers’ compensation claims in California on behalf of Pennsylvania Manufacturers’ Association Insurance Group, or PMA.

Jones’ co-defendant, Marcus Buckley, 42, of Weatherford, Texas, played professional football in the National Football League between 1993 and 1999 with the New York Giants. During this time, the Giants had workers’ compensation insurance coverage through PMA.

In 2006, Buckley filed a workers’ compensation claim against the Giants for cumulative stress injuries sustained while playing football, in part, in California, authorities said. In November 2010, the claim was settled for $300,000.

But after his claim had been settled, between 2010 and June 2011, Buckley allegedly prepared and filed numerous additional requests for reimbursement under his closed claim. He allegedly prepared fictitious invoices and statements from medical providers for medical services purportedly provided to him and fictitious credit bills, authorities said. Buckley allegedly sent the fictitious invoices, statements and credit collection letters to Jones, who had Gallagher Bassett checks made payable to Buckley. As a result, authorities said, Buckley received more than $1,588,000 to which he was not entitled.

Charges against Buckley are pending.

Jones it to be sentenced Jan. 7 by U.S. District Judge Troy L. Nunley.

Cathy Locke: 916-321-5287, @lockecathy