Fake injury, real crime

Oroville man sentenced to jail for bilking worker’s compensation

An Oroville man was sentenced to one year in jail on five felony counts of worker's compensation fraud for faking injuries from a 2009 incident, according to the Butte County District Attorney's office.

Howard Neel, 59, was working as a private security guard in December 2009, when his company car was hit by another vehicle as he was fueling up. He claimed the impact spun his car around and knocked him to the ground, causing extensive back, neck and leg pain. Investigators later acquired security footage showing the impact was minor and Neel had not been harmed.

Another hearing will be held Dec. 11 to determine if Neel will pay restitution of approximately $245,000.