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Veteran LAPD detective arrested on suspicion of workers' comp fraud [Updated]

October 6, 2010 |  9:40 am

For the second time in two weeks the Los Angeles Police Department has arrested one of its own on suspicion of workers' compensation fraud, this time a 15-year veteran of the force, officials said Wednesday.

Det. John X. Vach Jr., who was most recently assigned to the major crimes division, surrendered Tuesday night after an arrest warrant was issued alleging seven felony counts of workers’ compensation fraud, perjury and attempted grand theft. 

[Updated at 12:21 p.m.: Prosecutors charged Vach on Wednesday morning with four counts of insurance fraud and one count each of perjury by declaration, attempted perjury under oath and attempted grand theft. The detective, who was released after posting $120,000 bond, will be arraigned on Dec. 6 at the downtown Criminal Courts Building.]

Prosecutors said Vach operated two private businesses while out on a disability claim for job-related stress. They allege he also sought a lifetime disability pension. If convicted on all counts, the detective faces a maximum state prison term of eight years, 10 months and a fine of up to $240,000.

The case grew out of a medical claim submitted by Vach in late 2007. Investigators with the LAPD’s workers’ compensation fraud unit, working with the Los Angeles County district attorney’s healthcare fraud division, allegedly found evidence that Vach knowingly signed fraudulent documents and "received benefits to which he was not entitled."]

Vach, 37, a resident of Los Angeles County, was released on $120,000 bail. He has been assigned to his home without pay pending the outcome of the criminal and administrative investigations.

Last week, an 11-year veteran, Robert Yanez, was arrested on suspicion of a half-dozen counts of workers' compensation fraud stemming from a 2008 disability claim.

LAPD officials declined to discuss the specific allegations against Yanez, 38, but said internal affairs investigators, again working with the D.A.'s healthcare fraud division, found "probable cause to believe that Officer Yanez had received benefits to which he was not entitled."

-- Andrew Blankstein