Tip to CalPERS Leads to Criminal Charges, Order to Return Pension Benefits
November 17, 2016
Communications & Stakeholder Relations
Brad W. Pacheco, Deputy Executive Officer
Wayne Davis, Chief, Office of Public Affairs
Contact: Amy Morgan, Information Officer
Timothy Jones pled guilty to insurance fraud, ordered to repay CalPERS more than $200,000 in pension benefits
SACRAMENTO, CA – The California Public Employees' Retirement System (CalPERS) Board of Administration voted to adopt an administrative law judge's (ALJ's) decision that orders Timothy Jones, a former state social worker, to repay pension benefits he received from a fraudulent industrial disability retirement (IDR) claim.
Jones had been working for the Department of State Hospitals (DSH) in Coalinga when he went out on psychiatric disability leave in 2011. In 2013, the CalPERS Disability Fraud Tip Line received a tip that Jones was fully employed elsewhere. CalPERS' subsequent investigation confirmed that Jones was actually working two jobs after going out on IDR, that his job duties were quite similar to his previous responsibilities at DSH, and that he was not suffering from a debilitating psychiatric condition.
"This case demonstrates the great value of the public's assistance in CalPERS' efforts to protect the state pension system from fraud, waste, and abuse," said Matthew Jacobs, CalPERS General Counsel. "Here, a simple voice message to our Disability Fraud Tip Line led to a criminal case and the System's eventual recovery of a substantial amount of money. We continue to encourage the public to assist us in this manner."
CalPERS then presented the results of its investigation to the Fresno County District Attorney, who in 2014, in conjunction with a Department of Insurance investigation, filed criminal fraud charges against Jones, including charges that Jones had defrauded CalPERS. In June 2016, Jones pled guilty to insurance fraud, a felony, and was ordered to repay $126,518 to CalPERS in restitution. In September 2016, the ALJ upheld CalPERS' original determination that Jones owed $203,876, and ordered Jones to repay the difference of $77,358. Through the criminal and administrative actions against Jones, he has been ordered to repay the full amount of the pension benefits he received.
CalPERS discovers and pursues violations of the retirement law through all means available, including audits and tips from the public. CalPERS encourages any member of the public who may have information regarding disability fraud to contact the Disability Fraud Tip Line at (888) 330-5770.
Read the agenda item (PDF) on the proposed ALJ decision on Timothy Jones.
For more than eight decades, CalPERS has built retirement and health security for state, school, and public agency members who invest their lifework in public service. Our pension fund serves more than 1.8 million members in the CalPERS retirement system and administers benefits for nearly 1.4 million members and their families in our health program, making us the largest defined-benefit public pension in the U.S. CalPERS' total fund market value currently stands at approximately $299 billion. For more information, visit www.calpers.ca.gov.