For Immediate Release
Media Contact: Bob Cooper
(208) 334-4112

Date: March 7, 2008

California Couple Sentenced for Perjury

(Boise) – Cottonwood, California, residents, John Belcher, age 60, and Virginia Belcher, age 51, each pleaded guilty, in an amended indictment, to one count of perjury, a felony, Attorney General Lawrence Wasden said. Fourth District Judge Michael McLaughlin sentenced the Belchers to serve up to five years in prison. The Court suspended the prison sentence and imposed probation for ten years and ordered the Belchers to pay $9,000 in restitution to the State Insurance Fund.

John Belcher stated, under oath, to the Idaho Industrial Commission that he had lost function in his arms and legs when he knew it was not true. Virginia Belcher testified, under oath, to the Industrial Commission that her husband needed attendant care because he was unable to walk or stand without assistance, when she knew this was untrue.

“I hope that this sentence will serve as a deterrent to others who may be contemplating this type of fraud,” Attorney General Wasden said.

The case was investigated by the Idaho Department of Insurance and prosecuted by the Idaho Attorney General’s Office.

Department of Insurance Director Bill Deal said, "We want to send the message that workers compensation fraud is not tolerated in Idaho. Our investigation unit works diligently with other agencies to resolve these cases. Fraud is a crime that impacts each of us. Here at the Department we have a responsibility to the citizens of Idaho to see that people who commit fraud are brought to justice."

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