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Why is a Chicago suburb seeking the return of work comp benefits from an injured police officer?

There is no question that police officers have some of the toughest jobs imaginable and that they should be able to rely upon the work comp system to help make ends meet when they suffer serious work-related injuries.

In a very interesting story, however, local officials in one Chicagoland suburb are actually seeking the return of work comp benefits from an injured police officer. The reason? He faked his own injury.

Back on January 18, 2011, law enforcement officials in the village of Niles were summoned to the scene of a rather violent robbery involving a police officer we'll call Gary A.

According to Gary A., he was robbed at a stop sign while delivering deposits of $4,000 in cash and $40,000 in checks to a local bank. He also claimed that he was stabbed in the shoulder during the course of the robbery.

Unfortunately, police investigators later determined that Gary A. had actually staged the entire incident -- including stabbing himself in the shoulder -- in order to steal the deposits.

Gary A. subsequently pleaded guilty to an assortment of felony charges, and was sentenced to 100 hours of community service and two years probation this past summer.

In recent developments, the city of Niles has now filed a civil lawsuit against Gary A. in Cook County seeking the return of the work comp benefits it paid out in connection with his shoulder injury. Specifically, it is seeking the return of approximately $68,393.03 in medical and $18,251.52 in indemnity.

In addition to recovery of the work comp benefits, the village of Niles is also seeking punitive damages for misrepresentation, fraud and unjust enrichment.

Stay tuned for updates ...

Please visit our workers' compensation page to learn more about what you can do if an insurance company has refused to help you with the medical bills stemming from your work injury.

Source: Courthouse News, "Cop of the year? Probably not," Jack Bouboushian, Jan. 29, 2013

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