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Special education aide convicted of workers comp fraud

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A full-time special education aide assistant in Los Angeles has been convicted of workers compensation fraud after an investigation found that she made false statements to obtain benefits after a student allegedly bit her finger in 2012, according to a statement from Torrance, California-based Keenan & Associates, a third-party administrator that uncovered the fraud.

Shavonna Ashley was found guilty on June 13 of making false and fraudulent material statements for obtaining workers comp benefits and was sentenced to three years of formal probation. She was also ordered to perform 200 hours of community service and to pay formal restitution of $18,720 to her employer, the Inglewood Unified School District, according to the statement.

Ms. Ashley told the district that a special-needs student bit and bent her finger, causing an injury that put her on disability. She incurred more than $16,000 in disability and medical costs over a three-month period, according to the statement.

She was placed on disability and time off work due to her subjective complaints of severe and constant pain. Her treating physician eventually placed her on modified work restrictions for her injury that the employer could not accommodate.

“Due to the nature and extent of the injury, the previous claims examiner became suspicious and referred the file to (an investigative unit) for surveillance,” the statement says.

Keenan did not provide details on its investigation into the alleged injury.