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Comp fraud judgment blocks naturalization application



A federal appellate court on Wednesday upheld a district court ruling that U.S. citizenship and immigration services did not err in denying a woman's naturalization application because of a conviction of workers' fraud.

Blanca Orellana, El Salvador citizen, injured her neck, hands, right foot and back in February 2002 while working for Ocadian Care Centers LLC, based in Belvedere Tiburon, California, according to documents in Orellana v. Mayorkas .

Ms. Orellana said she could not work due to her injuries and filed a disability claim. Ocadian accepted the claim and on December 2, 2002, had paid out nearly $ 38,000 in temporary disability and medical treatment. . A criminal complaint was filed against her, and she was convicted of failing to disclose her outside employment and ordered Ocadian to pay $ 30,000 in damages.

In 2004, a Board of Appeal for Workers approved a separate agreement which resolved Mrs Orellana's claim for workers' compensation. for $ 42,700, with the refund deducted from the settlement.

Years later, when she applied for naturalization, her application was denied because the loss of the fraud conviction for the victim exceeded $ 1

0,000. She appealed to a district court, which rejected her complaint.

The 9th U.S. District Court of Appeals in San Francisco upheld the lower court's decision. Although Orellana claimed that the actual loss of her conduct was "not more than $ 5,010", the Court of Appeal disagreed and held that her external employment affected her "right to insurance benefits or payments" and that she did not provide any evidence that the loss did not exceed $ 10,000. Catalog

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