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Local Cop Charged with Workers’ Compensation Fraud

8/26/2003

CONTACT: Justin Glover
(850) 413-2842

SEBASTIAN– An eleven-year veteran with the Sebastian Police Department was arrested today for allegedly lying about accepting additional employment while collecting workers' compensation benefits due to on-the-job injuries.

"Floridians place their trust in law enforcement to uphold the law. It is appalling when an officer abuses this public trust, committing crimes against those he is sworn to protect," said Chief Financial Officer Tom Gallagher. "We will aggressively continue our efforts to eliminate fraud and put offenders behind bars."

Investigators with the Department of Financial Services, Division of Insurance Fraud, charged Joseph Francis Dillon, III, 40, of Palm Bay, with one count each of workers' compensation fraud and grand theft. Dillon allegedly accepted nearly $8,000 in workers' compensation benefits to which he was not entitled.

Dillon accepted benefits for surgery and recovery as a result of injuries sustained during an on-duty vehicle crash in June, 2002. Dillon underwent cervical spine surgery in January, 2003. Following recovery in February, 2003, Dillon requested additional no-work status because of continuing neck and shoulder complaints. His physician recommended that Dillon be on a no-work status for an additional six weeks. Dillon continued receiving workers' compensation benefits during this period.

While on continued no-work status, Dillon allegedly sought employment as a basketball coordinator for the Palm Bay Police Athletic League. Surveillance was conducted by fraud investigators showing Dillon at a middle school gym during one of the Athletic League games walking up and down bleachers, carrying boxes and mopping floors during time-outs.

Dillon later lied to investigators during a sworn deposition, saying he had not been employed while on no-work status.

The City of Sebastian Police Department assisted in the arrest and transported Dillon to the Indian River County Jail. If convicted on all charges, Dillon could face up to 10 years in prison.

The Department of Financial Services, Division of Insurance Fraud, investigates fraud in all types of insurance, including health, life, auto, property and workers' compensation. To report information about this case or any other possible insurance fraud case, call the department's fraud hotline at 1-800-378-0445. A reward of up to $25,000 is offered for information leading to a conviction.