ANTIOCH (CBS SF) – The Contra Costa County District Attorney’s Office on Monday announced charges against an Antioch woman who allegedly staged multiple slips and falls at different places of employment.

Maria Mendoza, 52, was arrested Friday and charged with four counts of workers’ compensation fraud dating back to 2014 as well as a pair of charges of fraudulent auto insurance claims.

The district attorney’s office opened an investigation into Mendoza’s previous workers’ compensation claims after she allegedly staged a slip and fall in October 2017 at an Olive Garden location in Pittsburg.

The first charges allege that Mendoza filed multiple fraudulent workers’ compensation claims in relation to her three-month employment with Pronto Cleaning Services in 2014. Mendoza argued that she received cumulative trauma to her hands, wrists and knees while on the job.

Mendoza also allegedly filed a workers’ compensation claim later that year after working at Architectural Glass and Aluminum for two months, telling medical professionals that she had made no prior claims.

The Olive Garden location hired Mendoza in 2017, but after roughly five months, the restaurant’s employees and manager alleged that she faked a slip and fall incident while en route to a disciplinary meeting. Mendoza argued that she suffered injuries to her knees and ankles as a result of the fall.

The fourth claim Mendoza filed came after working roughly one month at a Claim Jumper restaurant. Mendoza allegedly reported another slip and fall to a doctor and, according to the district attorney’s office, again told the doctor she had never filed a workers’ compensation claim.

Mendoza also allegedly filed an auto insurance claim regarding an accident in 2014 in which she reported suffering the same injuries she reported in her claim against Pronto Cleaning Services. In 2018, Mendoza also allegedly filed an insurance claim for damage to the same vehicle in the 2014 claim that she reported was totaled, prosecutors said.

People with information about potential insurance fraud can contact the district attorney’s office at DA-ReportFraud@contracostada.org.  Insurance fraud is punishable by a maximum five-year prison sentence and a fine of up to $50,000.

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