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Veteran Police Officers Charged with Insurance Fraud

Additional evidence was revealed by prosecutors.

Prosecutors revealed additional evidence Monday against two veteran LAPD officers charged in workers' compensation fraud cases.

Officer John Hall, 45, a 19-year-old veteran last assigned to the Emergency Services Division, is charged with two counts of insurance fraud, one count of attempted perjury and one count of grand theft.

Prosecutors said Hall claimed he injured his back while on duty. But while on paid leave, he was spotted more than once on a boat helping to carry heavy diving equipment and giving scuba diving instructions to an undercover police officer, according to a District Attorney's Office spokeswoman.

Hall, free on $80,000 bail, appeared in court Moday, but his arraignment was postponed until Feb. 10.

Arraignment was also postponed for Officer Ralph Mendoza, who is set to return on Jan. 21 to enter a plea.

Mendoza, 44, a 13-year veteran who lives in San Bernardino County, was last assigned to the Hollenbeck Division patrol. He is charged with one count of insurance fraud and one count of grand theft.

Prosecutors said Mendoza altered a doctor's return to work slip in June 2012.

"Public trust is at the very core of the police profession, and when that trust is violated we must employ every measure to restore it," said LAPD Chief Charlie Beck when the officers were arrested Dec. 11. 

"I am troubled whenever our officers are accused of violating that trust. As the chief, it is my duty to ensure that we fully investigate these cases of alleged misconduct and to take appropriate action when the misconduct is found to be true."

If convicted, Hall faces up to eight years in jail, while Mendoza faces up to six.

- City News Service

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