A personal care provider for the Tuolumne County Social Services Department was convicted of workers compensation insurance fraud, the Tuolumne County District Attorney’s Office announced Friday afternoon.

District Attorney Laura Krieg said Janice Richardson pleaded no contest to insurance fraud, and that she unlawfully and knowingly made a statement containing false and misleading information to obtain workers compensation insurance benefits.

Krieg and Richardson could not be reached for comment Friday afternoon.

Richardson was sentenced to three years probation, ordered to pay a fine of $1,000 to a workers compensation fraud account, and ordered to pay back $27,500 in restitution to Tuolumne County, for reimbursement of workers compensation benefits and investigation costs, Krieg’s staff said in a prepared statement.

Richardson was employed as a personal care assistant provider for Tuolumne County and she allegedly reported an on the job injury in April 2014, according to Krieg’s staff. The injuries Richardson claimed happened in a motor vehicle crash she was involved in during her scheduled work hours and in performance of her duties.

Richardson filed a workers compensation injury claim and, as a result, she received medical treatment and workers compensation benefits. A subsequent investigation showed Richardson presented false statements and material misrepresentations during a deposition to people on a Workers Compensation Appeals Board, according to Krieg’s staff. Richardson allegedly misrepresented facts about her physical abilities and limitations stemming from her injury.

The case against Richardson was jointly investigated by Probe Information Services, a private company with licenses in 18 states, the Tuolumne County District Attorney’s Office, and the Amador County District Attorney’s Workers Compensation Fraud Unit.

Contact Guy McCarthy at gmccarthy@uniondemocrat.com or 588-4585. Follow him on Twitter at @GuyMcCarthy.

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