SAN BERNARDINO (CBSLA.com) — A Southland woman faces nearly two dozen felony counts of insurance and workers’ compensation fraud for taking images from the Internet to bolster a lawsuit filed against McDonald’s for second-degree burns to her hand from spilled coffee, authorities said Monday.
Selena Edwards, 38, of Victorville, was taken into custody on 21 felony counts, including submitting a fraudulent insurance claim, false statements and false evidence associated with an alleged fraudulent claim, according to California Department of Insurance officials.READ MORE: USC To Require Students, Facility & Staff Be Vaccinated Against Flu By Nov. 1
A criminal complaint (PDF) filed in San Bernardino County Superior Court states that in January of 2013, Edwards claimed hot coffee spilled on her right hand when she was handed a cup of coffee with an unsecured lid at a McDonald’s drive-thru.
Edwards submitted an injury claim with photos of a hand with second-degree burns as well as counterfeit documentation for treatment that she claimed to have received from a local hospital, according to the complaint.READ MORE: 1 Dead In Shooting By CHP Officers In El Sereno
Detectives later discovered that some of the photos had been copied from a hospital website, according to state insurance officials.
“By copying legitimate burn photos from the Internet, Edwards attempted to make a profit from another person’s pain and suffering and for this she will be prosecuted to the full extent of the law,” Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones said.MORE NEWS: 9 Southland Eateries Receive Michelin Guide Stars
Edwards was released on her own recognizance and is due in court Monday afternoon for a preliminary hearing.