A man who allegedly scammed a Murrieta business owner out of Workers' Compensation money while allegedly working elsewhere is facing a felony charge.
John Jose Ramirez, 49, allegedly accepted Workers' Compensation from ., 25751 Jefferson Ave.; he could face three years in prison if convicted of fraud.
Ramirez allegedly was accepting wages from the compensation fund while working elsewhere and remaining active.
He allegedly hurt his knee in 2008, according to Rachel Naylor, who owns the business with her husband, Mike.
The couple initially kept him on in an office setting but after Ramirez allegedly made threats against an employee, the Naylors fired him.
Sometime within the next few years, said Naylor, she was aware of Ramirez allegedly collecting Workers' Comp, while running his own glass business and remaining very active.
But it was not until 2011 that a case was filed against Ramirez, who is being represented by a deputy public defender, according to court records.
Naylor said that she kept vigil over the case, sending the insurance company pictures of his company's truck and information about Ramirez still working, even as she paid the high premiums that his claim had prompted.
Deputy District Attorney Mike Mayman told Patch that while he could not discuss the particulars of the case, he could say that the case will go one of two ways.
"I anticipate either a resolution or a trial in the very near future," Mayman told Patch in a telephone interview.
Ramirez is due in court Sept. 21, for a felony settlement conference, which has been delayed a few times because of extenuating circumstances.
Meanwhile, said Naylor, small business owners should be aware they have to stay on top their own cases.
"Stay involved and be your own advocate," Naylor told Patch.
Ramirez is out on his own recognizance, records indicate.