San Diego

San Diego Deputy Faces Multiple Charges for Faking Back Injury: DA

The deputy claimed to have a debilitating back injury while covertly lifting weights at the gym

A San Diego County Sheriff's deputy faces multiple felony charges for allegedly faking a back injury to receive workers' compensation, announced the District Attorney Monday.

Matthew Tobolsky, 40, is accused of misrepresenting his physical conditions and abilities while filing false workers' compensation insurance, according to the San Diego County District Attorney's office.

In January 2017, he claimed to have suffered a back injury from lifting a couple 5-gallon water bottles and consistently exaggerated his pain, said a spokesperson for the DA.

Tobolsky told medical professionals he was enduring debilitating pain and was unable to do light duty. But shortly after making this claim, he continued to work out and lift heavy weights at a gym, revealed an investigation.

He was charged with eight counts of insurance fraud, two counts of filing a false claim, three counts of attempted perjury and one count of failing to disclose information that affects a payment, said the DA's office.

An investigation by the San Diego County Sheriff's Department (SDSO) and the California Department of Insurance, in collaboration with the DA, led to the discovery of $57,000 in total losses. Tobolsky was directly paid $46,000 of that amount in workers' compensation.

District Attorney Summer Stephan said Tobolsky abused the public's trust by making false statements under oath.

“This type of fraud costs California taxpayers an estimated $4 billion dollars a year,” said Stephan, in a statement. “It is critical for the integrity of our justice system that everyone including peace officers be held to the same standard under the law."

Sheriff Bill Gore said the Sheriff's Department is committed to upholding principles of honesty and integrity.

"The people of this county can be assured no one is above the law and our employees will be held accountable if they violate the public's trust," said Gore.

Tobolsky's arraignment is set for Wednesday, Sept. 20 at 1:30 p.m. in Department 12 of the San Diego Superior Court downtown. Stephen said he faces up to 15 years in local prison if convicted.

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