An Arizona man convicted of workers’ compensation and welfare fraud while living and working in Salinas has received the maximum jail sentence of eight years and eight months, California Department of Insurance officials said today. Chip Kyle Bolton, 33, was convicted in April of seven felony counts for fraudulently accepting medical treatment from the workers’ compensation system and lying to the state’s Employment Development Department (EDD) about unemployment benefits.
During his sentencing in Monterey County Superior Court on Friday, Judge Russell Scott told the defendant the one truth that was proved at trial was that Bolton was a perennial liar, and that lying is a way of life for him, according to the insurance department. “Individuals that lie, exaggerate and falsify injuries with the intent to bilk the workers’ compensation system are stealing from every Californian,” Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones said in a statement.
Evidence presented during the trial established that in 2011, Bolton reported an on-the-job injury to his employer for which he received continuous medical treatment and was placed on temporary disability. On the same day that Bolton told a claims adjuster he couldn’t stand for more than an hour or hold his baby daughter, he was filmed at the YMCA exercising on an elliptical machine and playing basketball, insurance officials said.
As for the welfare fraud counts, investigators revealed that Bolton periodically received public assistance beginning in 2009, and in 2012 he applied for and received unemployment insurance benefits from EDD. Insurance officials said Bolton signed documents attesting he was not receiving unemployment benefits, when in fact he received and cashed unemployment checks. Bolton’s convictions include two counts of false or fraudulent statements in order to obtain workers’ compensation benefits, one count of insurance fraud, one count of attempted perjury, one count of perjury, one count of welfare fraud and one count of grand theft. In addition to jail time, the defendant has been ordered to pay victim restitution to the three agencies he bilked for a total of $84,350. Bolton’s sentence will be served in Monterey County Jail.
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