Beauty Contestant Busted Through YouTube Video For Fraud: Officials - NBC 7 San Diego

Beauty Contestant Busted Through YouTube Video For Fraud: Officials



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    Shawna Palmer, left, competed in beauty pageants while telling insurance officials she had a fractured toe.

    Pageant contestants seek the spotlight, but it was the limelight -- on the Internet -- that proved to be the incriminating evidence against a beauty pageant contestant collecting worker's compensation for a fractured toe.

    Shawna L. Palmer of Riverside started collecting workers’ compensation benefits in March after fracturing her toe as a clerk at Stater Bros. Markets, according to a news release from the California Department of Insurance. She told her doctor during multiple visits that she couldn’t put weight on her foot or wear shoes for an extended period of time.

    But a YouTube video of the 2014 Miss Toyota Long Beach Grand Prix beauty contest showed otherwise: She was seen walking around in high heels “without any signs of discomfort,” according to the Department of Insurance.

    "This suspect made the job of our departments' detectives easier by openly participating in high profile events,” Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones said in a statement.

    The news release said 22-year-old Palmer participated in at least two beauty contests while collecting workers’ compensation, even though her doctor had provided her an orthopedic boot, crutches and instructed her not to work.

    If convicted of workers’ comp fraud, Palmer could face up to one year in the county jail, three years’ probation and $24,000 restitution.

    Contact information for Palmer or an attorney was not immediately available and she has not responded to a Facebook request for comment.