Schlachman, Belsky & Weiner, P.A., is pleased to report that on Tuesday, March 8, a retired Prince George's County Police Officer was found not guilty of felony Worker's Compensation Fraud and felony Theft following a jury trial. The prosecution alleged that, prior to his retirement, the officer had fraudulently attempted to claim worker's compensation benefits for an on-duty incident that never occurred in Prince George's County.
In support of the charges, the State presented a surveillance video purporting to capture the officer's actions at the time of the incident. Based upon the video, which did not show the officer involved in any accident, the State concluded that the officer had simply created an injury for purposes of obtaining an award. Upon further investigation by defense counsel, the State's allegations were shown to be based upon faulty assumptions: the officer claimed to have injured himself falling on the rear exit stairs of the building, and two such sets of stairs existed.
The State failed to properly consider such a possibility, deciding instead to rest the prosecution entirely upon the existence of a video. Fortunately, Prince George's County jurors paid close attention to the evidence presented and determined that the officer's version of events was more credible than the State's allegations.
The trial was handled by Attorney Shaun F. Owens who now manages SBW Law's Southern Maryland practice.