Santa Barbara police officer headed to jail for fraud

September 24, 2016

hand cuffs 1A 28-year-old Santa Barbara police officer was sentenced Friday to 120 days in jail for workers compensation fraud, according to Santa Barbara County District Attorney Joyce E. Dudley

Jacob Finerty pled to four counts of felony workers’ compensation fraud. Following a recommendation from the Santa Barbara County Probation Department, Judge Clifford Anderson sentenced Finerty to 120 days in jail, placed him on five years’ probation, and ordered him to make $115,669.86 in restitution to the City of Santa Barbara.

In 2011, Finerty started working for the Santa Barbara Police Department. Three years later, a worker’s compensation fraud investigation was launched.

Finerty claimed he injured his lower back in an on-duty traffic accident and that he was unable to perform his usual and customary employment duties because of the injury.

However, Finerty was observed on multiple occasions lifting heavy weights, engaging in strength competitions, and competing in MAS Wrestling events. Many of Mr. Finerty’s activities were captured on video and photographs, posted on social media websites, and could have been used as evidence in his criminal trial.

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In many places Law Enforcement + Disability = VERY early retirement (often as early as age 30-40). It’s an over-abused system and a large percentage of LE’s (especially in California) retire with disability. It is a cottage industry, in fact. The “right” doctors are known… the processes are in place… the unions encourage and educate how to do it…

Always be wary of public sector disability, not just law enforcement.

The article is missing a few details, when did the “accident” happen? I’d guess sometime after his employment with the Santa Barbara police department in 2011, and before the investigation started in 2014, lets just guess 2013 or even 2012 given we know investigations like this take sometime. So the fraud has been going on for three or four years, his punishment is 120 days in jail, cut back for overcrowding and maybe served on weekends, tops 60 days in jail in a private protected cell with private yard time, that’s 15 days for each year of the fraud and pay pack $115,669.86. That’s around $28,917.05, was that even the same mount he received in fraudulent disability? If he claimed 100% disability he likely received more than that in total given the base salaries we know about. And what about his pension, likely that can’t be touched, that would be “illegal”, thanks public sector unions. Yeah, No special treatment here.

Plus, this slap on the wrist will really put the fear into anyone else who is thinking about, or currently, doing this. If, and that’s a big IF, you get caught you might have to spend a few days in jail and pay back a part of what you stole without any long term consequences.

Is he on paid administrative leave while he’s in jail??? I wouldn’t be surprised if he is.

And then when out, will request his old job back or else he’ll sue and the city will hire him back at a higher salaries plus all back pay.

It would be VERY interesting to see statistics on Private worker disability vs Public worker disability. I can guess the result. There is only one reason (fixable, btw) for the difference.