Crime - Sacto 911

Former CHP officer convicted in workers’ comp insurance fraud case

A former California Highway Patrol officer has been convicted in a case involving workers’ compensation insurance fraud.

A Sacramento County jury on Thursday convicted Tony Yao on felony charges of failure to disclose a prior motor vehicle accident and resulting injury, making false statements in support of his workers’ compensation claim and filing a false claim.

Yao was a CHP officer working in the Commissioner’s Support Unit when he alleged he had suffered a work injury to his back, according to a Sacramento County District Attorney’s Office news release. The claim was administered by the State Compensation Insurance Fund, and the CHP’s Internal Affairs Workers’ Compensation Fraud Unit investigated the claim.

Evidence showed that Yao failed to disclose and concealed a 2005 motor vehicle accident that caused injury to the same part of his back that he alleged he injured in the in workers’ compensation claim, authorities said.

Yao claimed he was unable to work because he could not bend, twist, walk without a cane and needed help with everyday activities, such as washing and dressing. But video surveillance showed Yao was able to walk normally without a cane, bend and twist with ease, and that he was able to pound stakes in his front yard to mount a flag.

Yao also claimed that he mistakenly gave the wrong date for when his injury occurred on his workers’ compensation claim form and filed an amended claim to change the date. Evidence showed Yao changed the date to conform to information contained in his medical records in an effort to conceal his pre-existing back injury from the State Compensation Insurance Fund, authorities said.

Yao is to be sentenced Jan. 28 before Sacramento Superior Court Judge Russell Hom.

Call The Bee’s Cathy Locke, (916) 321-5287.