The Riverside County District Attorney's Office will get more than $2.9 million in state grants to help fight insurance fraud, officials announced this week.
The Board of Supervisors unanimously authorized the county's acceptance of roughly $2.94 million in grants from the California Department of Insurance on Tuesday in Riverside.
The grants vary in duration from one to three years but have similar goals.
The largest grant - $1.529 million - was disbursed from the DOI's Workers Compensation Insurance Fraud Program, which targets individuals who file bogus claims for workers' comp benefits.
A $715,000 sum was awarded under the DOI's Auto Insurance Fraud Program,
which seeks to identify and shut down "medical mills . . . staged collision rings, false and fraudulent claims and organized economic automobile theft groups," according to the DOI's website.
The agency also awarded the D.A.'s office a $360,000 grant to investigate and prosecute disability and healthcare insurance fraud.
"The program includes suspected fraudulent claims involving claimant
disability (other than workers' comp), dental claims, billing fraud schemes,
immunization fraud . . . durable medical equipment fraud and posing as another to obtain benefits," according to the DOI.
The final grant award, in the amount of $336,247, was in support of the inland region's Organized Auto Insurance Fraud Interdiction Program, jointly run by the district attorneys of Riverside and San Bernardino counties, though Riverside County administers the funds.
Multiple law enforcement agencies throughout the region and investigators from the Department of Insurance collaborate, conducting operations as a single task force seeking to put "highly sophisticated groups" running auto insurance scams out of business, according to the DOI.
During fiscal year 2011-12, 179 fraud-related cases were investigated statewide, resulting in 208 arrests and a similar number of prosecutions, state officials said.