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VENTURA COUNTY ROUNDUP | Ventura

Woman Arrested in Fraud Investigation

February 14, 2001|FRED ALVAREZ

The Ventura County district attorney's office announced Tuesday it has filed workers' compensation fraud charges against a Ventura woman accused of faking an injury stemming from an on-the-job accident four years ago.

Darlene Nancy Berdeaux, 41, was arrested Monday in connection with claims she filed after burning her hand while working as a waitress in 1997. During treatment for the injury, Berdeaux received an injection of medicine she said caused her ongoing pain for more than two years.

Deputy Dist. Atty. Molly Appel said Berdeaux collected an undetermined amount of disability benefits as a result of those claims. But Appel said investigators later discovered that Berdeaux was performing activities, such as playing softball, that contradicted her claims of being hurt.

Berdeaux was arrested on suspicion of insurance fraud and released on $10,000 bail. She also is charged with perjury for allegedly misrepresenting her physical activities during a deposition. She is scheduled to be arraigned Feb. 26.

Reached at home Tuesday, Berdeaux denied any wrongdoing and said she still is in pain from the injection. As for playing softball, she said she did participate in a game with her daughter, but said she was on medication at the time and that it took her days to recuperate.

"I'm still in pain, severe pain," Berdeaux said. "And all this cold weather makes it worse."

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