SANTA ANA, Calif. - Two married former Tustin police officers were charged with numerous felonies related to false workers’ compensation claims they filed with the city. The two alleged claimed they both suffered chronic back pain from wearing their belts and vests while on duty that prevented them from working and collected over $180,000 in disability money.
Video surveillance, and the couple’s own photos and videos, allegedly showed the former officers engaged in an active lifestyle while being paid workers’ compensation wages for their injuries.
The couple was allegedly documented vacationing in Mammoth, where they went mountain biking and boating. Officials also allegedly found evidence of the couple flying internationally, scuba diving as well as working on various home improvement projects.
Kendal Hurd, 40, and her husband, Kyle Hurd, 38, were both charged with multiple felony counts of insurance fraud, as well as multiple counts of perjury or attempted perjury.
Kendal Hurd faces a maximum sentence of 11 years in state prison if convicted on all counts. Kyle Hurd faces a maximum sentence of nine years and six months in state prison if convicted on all counts.
Officials said Kyle Hurd filed a workers’ compensation claim in December 2018, claiming he was suffering constant back pain as a result of wearing his duty belt and gear, as well as getting in and out of his patrol car. In October 2019, after returning to work from the international scuba trip, Kendal Hurd filed a nearly identical workers’ compensation claim as her husband, alleging that her chronic back pain resulted from wearing her duty belt and vest as well as twisting while getting in and out of her patrol vehicle.
The couple allegedly told their workers’ compensation doctors that their pain increased with activity and improved with rest.
The city of Tustin initiated the surveillance after both Kendal and Kyle Hurd had been receiving medical care for numerous months for the same condition without seeing improvement.
Surveillance allegedly revealed the couple engaging in active lifestyles, including sliding down a water slide, lifting children, riding bikes, paddleboarding, and going to Pilates classes, as well as spending time playing in the water at Lake Mission Viejo.
The activities allegedly contradicted what the couple told their doctors and what they testified to at their depositions under oath. Kendal Hurd allegedly claimed she couldn’t lift more than three pounds unless supervised during physical therapy and said she could not stand for longer than five minutes without experiencing severe pain.
After Kyle Hurd was suspended, authorities allegedly found that he sent a text to one of his friends where he bragged about receiving unnecessary medical treatment because he was a "good actor."
"Workers’ compensation fraud results in honest, hardworking business and government entities losing more than $30 billion a year," said Orange County District Attorney Todd Spitzer. "This is such an egregious breach of the public’s trust by two people who were sworn to uphold our laws, not break them."