Media Release
For Immediate Release: January 23, 2012
Contact: Anne Gordon, (916) 491-3821
Email: anne.gordon@vcgcb.ca.gov

California Victim Compensation Program Recovers Fraudulently Obtained Funds

Over $21,000 in fraudulent claims recovered in investigation

Sacramento, CA — A Los Angeles County resident has been ordered to pay the State back more than $21,000.00 in fraudulent claims. Tito Ace Thomas has been ordered by the court to pay $21,419.21 to the California Victim Compensation Program (CalVCP), after it was discovered that he submitted fraudulent claims relating to an assault he sustained in December 2008. CalVCP is the state program which helps victims of violent crime and their families with the emotional, physical and financial aftermath of crime.

“We take our fiduciary responsibility for the Restitution Fund very seriously,” said Julie Nauman, Executive Officer for the Victim Compensation and Government Claims Board. “Funds fraudulently obtained belong to eligible violent crime victims and we will take all steps necessary to prevent perpetrators from getting their hands on this money, and diligently pursue the return of the funds to financially aid other victims.”

Mr. Thomas was beaten on December 31, 2008, and submitted claims for reimbursement of lost wages, counseling services, and medical treatment. CalVCP’s Office of Audits and Investigations initially became suspicious during a review of bills Thomas submitted. Mr. Thomas submitted multiple disability letters from his doctor claiming that his inability to work was a result of the assault. During the investigation, CalVCP determined that the disability letters, which brought Mr. Thomas payments totaling $17,879.21, were forged. In addition, it was found that Mr. Thomas fraudulently received $3,540 for psychological counseling. The culmination of the staff's comprehensive analysis of Thomas’s claim resulted in enough evidence and supporting documentation to be transferred to the Department of Justice for a criminal prosecution.

On January 12, Thomas entered into a plea bargain and was sentenced to five years of probation with 180 days in county jail. He was ordered by the court to pay restitution in the amount of $21,419.21 to CalVCP.

CalVCP compensates for monetary losses when an actual loss has occurred as a result of a violent crime. The program is dedicated to maintaining its integrity, and it makes every effort to identify any fraudulent claims and holds such claimants accountable for their actions.

For more information about CalVCP visit the CalVCP Website.

The California Victim Compensation Program (CalVCP) provides compensation for victims of violent crime who are injured or threatened with injury. Among the crimes covered are domestic violence, child abuse, sexual and physical assault, homicide, robbery, drunk driving and vehicular manslaughter.

If a person meets eligibility criteria, CalVCP will compensate many types of services when the costs are not covered by other sources.

Eligible services include medical and dental care, mental health services, income loss, funeral expenses, rehabilitation and relocation. Funding for CalVCP comes from restitution fines and orders, penalty assessments levied on persons convicted of crimes and traffic offenses, and federal matching funds.

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