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VALLEY ROUNDUP | Palmdale

Ex-City Worker Accused of Workers' Comp Fraud

November 05, 1998|MICHAEL BAKER

A Palmdale resident and former Los Angeles Bureau of Sanitation worker has been arrested for allegedly trying to defraud the city out of $50,000 in workers' compensation, officials said.

Renoir Valenti, 36, a waste-water treatment mechanic, was arrested on Tuesday for allegedly filing a fraudulent disability claim and lying about his disability, said Diana Britt, chief of the Workers' Compensation Division of the city personnel department.

"It does seem like an inordinate amount," Britt said of the $50,000 amount. "But always getting a handle on how common worker compensation fraud is, is kind of like trying to nail Jell-O to the wall."

Britt said the arrest of Valenti is in part due to a new full-time fraud investigator her department has had on board since July.

"This arrest demonstrates the city's commitment to actively and aggressively pursue those employees who fraudulently take advantage of the workers' compensation program," said William T. Fujioka, general manager of the city's Personnel Department. "We will seek criminal charges where appropriate."

Neither Valenti nor a representative for the accused could be located for comment.

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