Sacto 9-1-1
April 10, 2012
UPDATE: CHP officer accused of workers' comp insurance fraud

Tony+Yao+Image.jpgSacramento County District Attorney Jan Scully announced today that charges have been filed against a California Highway Patrol officer for workers' compensation insurance fraud.

According to the arrest warrant affidavit, Officer Tony Yao (pictured), 38, filed a workers' compensation insurance claim on Aug. 11, 2011, stating that he had injured his back during firearms training at the CHP Academy on May 13, 2011. At the time of the alleged injury, Yao was assigned to an administrative position.

For the next several months, Yao told his treating physicians that the back injury was so severe he was unable to perform even limited duties, including office work, according to a District Attorney's Office news release. Based on his complaint of pain and physical limitations, Yao's doctors recommended that he undergo back surgery.

The CHP Office of Internal Affairs Workers' Compensation Fraud Investigation Unit investigated Yao's claims. Authorities said the investigation included several days of videotaped surveillance, in which Yao is seen engaging in various physical activities that directly conflict with the limitations he described to his physicians.

The investigation also revealed that on the date Yao claimed to have been injured, he had not used the training equipment that he blamed for his injury, according to the news release. Authorities said he also failed to disclose back injuries he had previously sustained in a non-work-related motor vehicle accident.

CHP spokeswoman Fran Clader said Yao graduated from the CHP Academy in December 2006 and was assigned to the Oakland-area CHP office. In May 2008 he was transferred to the CHP headquarters office where he worked in an administrative capacity.

Yao was arrested by the CHP and booked into the Sacramento County Jail this afternoon. Clader said he has been placed on administrative leave pending completion of an internal investigation.

"It is a sad day for the CHP when something like this happens," Clader said, but added that it should in no way reflect on the uniformed and non-uniformed CHP employees who serve the public on a daily basis.

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