Santa Clara, CA (WorkersCompensation.com) – A former Santa Clara police officer allegedly faked an injury in order to draw workers’ compensation, only to be discovered bodybuilding, just like his wife had done last year, officials say.
Kenneth Henderson, 53, of Las Vegas, was charged with workers’ compensation fraud after an investigation into his wife’s workers’ compensation claim.
Henderson’s trouble started in October 2015 when he claimed to have injured himself picking up five traffic cones, records show. At the same time, his wife, Mandy Henderson, also claimed to have been injured while working for the Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Office – to the point where she was unable to walk by herself and was in constant pain.
In 2016, Kenneth Henderson retired on disability and the couple moved to Las Vegas despite Mandy Henderson technically still working for the Sheriff’s Office some 500 miles away.
In order to secure a disability settlement that would have amounted to $3.3 million over the course of her life, Mandy Henderson told doctors she was unable to walk on her own and was in constant pain.
A medical evaluation showed that Mandy Henderson could no longer do many of the things she needed to be able to do in order to do her job, like walking, running a 12-minute mile, driving a car and climbing stairs.
After seeing the note from the doctor, a county claims adjuster asked the Sheriff’s Office to assign Mandy Henderson to another position that she could work at. At the same time, the county’s workers’ compensation division hired a private investigators to look at Henderson’s life in Las Vegas.
Investigators found that Mandy Henderson was regularly working out as a body builder and entering body building competitions. Video of her taken by investigators showed her working out on treadmills and stairmasters, walking on her own, carrying her child and driving.
When confronted with the evidence, Mandy Henderson resigned from the Sheriff’s office and was charged with workers’ compensation fraud.
After Mandy Henderson’s video tape emerged, the city of Santa Clara requested a copy of the tapes and found images of Kenneth Henderson also engaged in body building workouts.
According to the Santa Clara County Attorney General, when shown the footage, a doctor who had examined Kenneth Henderson said it looked nothing like the patient he had seen, and that Henderson had behaved during medical appointments like “a stroke victim.”
Because officials are only allowed to recover losses documented after a crime is discovered, Kenneth Henderson is only liable for about $30,000 if convicted on charges of felony workers’ compensation fraud.
“Those involved in this type of fraud are stealing from a system intended to help law enforcement officers who are seriously injured while protecting the public,” prosecutor Vonda Tracey said in a press release.