Detectives with the department’s internal affairs division arrested a former LAPD officer and charged with an alleged workers comp insurance fraud.
A criminal complaint accused Terry Johns, 56 of eight counts, including workers comp insurance fraud, insurance fraud, and attempted perjury under oath, NBC Los Angeles reported.
The arrest was made after an undercover surveillance investigation in which detectives were sent to see if the ex-LAPD officer was really injured, as he had claimed in official documents.
“Our surveillance squads viewed him in the activity that was inconsistent with his worker’s comp claim,” Chief Charlie Beck told reporters. “Officer Johns defrauded the city of Los Angeles out of over $200,000 and is being held on $160,000 bail.”
Johns served as a police officer for more than 30 years and filed for retirement in 2014, according to the Los Angeles Police Department.
Beck said Johns had enrolled in the City’s DROP program, which allows officers close to retirement to collect both their salary and pension during their final five years of service. The criminal complaint says the alleged worker’s comp abuse happened beginning in 2014, but Beck said it would jeopardize the case if he provided details on what injury Johns claimed.
NBC4’s I-Team also found a case in state appeals court that reveals Johns was investigated once before by LAPD internal affairs detectives. In 2013 court records showed Johns challenged a suspension imposed after an LAPD undercover ethics team accused him of failing to take a police report from a citizen.
Beck said this arrest is the third in the last year tied to alleged abuses of the worker’s comp system:
“We take this very seriously, we have done over 400 investigations, many of them have resulted in unfounded charges over the last eight years,” the Chief said.
Last month the Los Angeles City Council asked for an in-depth review of the DROP program after an article in the Los Angeles Times said several officers in the DROP program had spent months or years off-duty after claiming on-duty injuries.