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DATE: October 8, 2015
CASE: Josephine Lewis
PROSECUTOR: Deputy District Attorney Jeanne McCullough, Insurance Fraud Unit
Thirty-year-old Josephine Lewis pled no contest to felony insurance fraud stemming from a workers’ compensation claim.
Lewis worked at Nordstrom Rack on Arden Way. On April 5, 2008, she injured her back at work and filed a workers’ compensation claim. From August 14, 2008 through March 9, 2009, investigators hired by Nordstrom surveilled and filmed Lewis. During this time, she lied to her doctors about what caused her pain and rated the pain level as 10 out of 10. She reported a number of physical limitations, including having very little use of her arms and hands, and only being able to walk short distances using a cane, crutches, or walker. She claimed she had difficulty in her everyday life, including driving a car, climbing the stairs to her home, grocery shopping, and personal self-care.
Video surveillance showed Lewis engaged in a multitude of normal activities, including grocery shopping and carrying bags of groceries, driving, power walking for hours, lifting bags and boxes, bending and twisting, and walking up and down stairs without hesitation or restriction. She was observed to have only used crutches once when she entered her workers’ compensation deposition hearing. She exited the hearing walking normally and carrying the crutches.
Pursuant to the plea agreement, Lewis will be sentenced to 120 days in county jail. Sentencing is set for January 8, 2016, in Department 42 before the Honorable Lawrence Brown.
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