LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — A woman who appeared on the reality TV series “Bridezillas” has surrendered to authorities on 14 felony counts of insurance fraud.
Anita Maxwell, 55, was charged with submitting fraudulent documents and making false claims to receive more than $40,000 in undeserved workers’ compensation benefits, California Department of Insurance officials said. Maxwell surrendered to the Superior Court of California, Division 30, in Los Angeles County.
Maxwell, who was employed by Los Angeles County for Cedars-Sinai Health System, appeared on “Bridezillas” season 4, episodes 1 and 2 in June 2007 and is the only Bridezilla to have been left at the altar.
The agency launched an investigation in 2012 after Maxwell claimed she injured her neck, back and shoulder while assisting a patient as a clinical partner, officials said. While out on workers’ compensation, Maxwell allegedly lied to her doctor, denying she had prior injuries to neck, back and shoulder, but officials say Maxwell had multiple prior injuries dating back to 1990.
Prior to the 2012 claim, Maxwell received $20,000 from similar workers’ compensation claims, officials said. When he learned of her prior injuries, Maxwell’s doctor said he would have changed the apportionment and disability amounts to reflect the past trauma, lowering her claim to only 25 percent related to her work injury.
Maxwell was also accused of submitting false mileage forms for her travel to and from doctors and physical therapy appointments. Surveillance conducted during the investigation showed that Maxwell had commuted to her appointments from a different location than the one she reported to her insurer on more than a dozen occasions, officials said. The fraudulent mileage forms submitted resulted in over $5,000 in underserved mileage reimbursement.
“Taking advantage of the workers’ compensation system is not only illegal, but costly to all Californians who pay for this fraud through higher premiums,” Commissioner Dave Jones said in a statement. “These types of fraudulent claims are an insult to legitimately injured workers.”