Former California cops accused of stealing thousands in disability payments, joked about being a ‘good actor’
Two former California police officers, who are married, have been charged with multiple felonies in connection with their false workers’ compensation claims.
Kendall Hurd, 40, and her husband, Kyle Hurd, 38, are charged with multiple felony counts of insurance fraud and multiple counts of perjury or attempted perjury, the Orange County District Attorney’s Office said in a news release.
the Former Tustin Police Officers They claimed they suffered chronic back pain from wearing belts and vests while on duty that prevented them from working, and they collected more than $180,000 in disability funds.
They both lost their jobs with the Tustin Police Department in July 2021.
Video surveillance, as well as photos and videos taken by the pair, allegedly revealed that the former officers engaged in an active lifestyle while receiving workers’ compensation wages for their alleged injuries.
The two were allegedly documented mountain biking and boating while on vacation in Mammoth, California. Evidence was also allegedly discovered showing the couple traveling internationally, scuba diving and working on various home improvement projects.
Mr. Hurd filed a workers’ compensation claim in December 2018 when he claimed he was experiencing constant back pain from wearing his work belt and gear and getting in and out of his patrol car.
In October 2019, Ms. Heard filed a nearly identical workers’ compensation claim after returning to work from an international diving trip. She claimed her chronic back pain stemmed from wearing her work belt and vest and twisting while getting in and out of her patrol car.
The couple allegedly told their workers’ compensation doctors that their pain worsened with physical activity and improved with rest.
The city of Tustin began monitoring the Heard couple after the couple had been receiving medical care for several months for the same condition without improvement.
Surveillance allegedly showed the couple sliding down a water slide, carrying children, riding bikes, canoeing, going to Pilates classes, playing in the water at Mission Viejo Lake and other physical activities.
The active lifestyle allegedly contradicts what the couple told their doctors and what they testified to under oath in their depositions. Ms. Heard claimed that she could not lift more than three pounds unless supervised during physical therapy and that she could not stand for longer than five minutes without experiencing severe pain.
Authorities allegedly found a text message Mr Heard sent to a friend after he was suspended, bragging about receiving medical treatment he did not need because he was a “good actor”.
“Workers’ compensation fraud causes honest, hard-working businesses and government entities to lose more than $30 billion annually,” Orange County District Attorney Todd Spitzer said in a statement. He added: “This is a blatant violation of the public trust by two people who swore to respect our laws, not break them.”
Ms Heard faces a maximum sentence of 11 years State prison If convicted of all charges, Mr. Heard faces a maximum sentence of nine years and six months in state prison if convicted of all charges.