Riverside Beauty Contestant Busted Through YouTube Video for Fraud: Officials - NBC Southern California

Riverside Beauty Contestant Busted Through YouTube Video for Fraud: Officials



    Beauty Contestant s High Heels Stir Controversy

    A Riverside beauty contestant is in hot water after being caught in high heels and allegedly collecting workers compensation for an injured toe. Gadi Schwartz reports for NBC4 News at 11 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 12, 2014. (Published Wednesday, Aug. 13, 2014)

    Pageant contestants seek the spotlight, but it was the limelight -- on the Internet -- that proved to be the incriminating evidence against a beauty pageant contestant collecting worker's compensation for a fractured toe.

    Shawna L. Palmer of Riverside started collected workers’ compensation benefits in March after fracturing her toe as a clerk at Stater Bros. Markets, according to a news release from the California Department of Insurance. She told her doctor during multiple visits that she couldn’t put weight on her foot or wear shoes for an extended period of time.

    But a YouTube video of the 2014 Miss Toyota Long Beach Grand Prix beauty contest showed otherwise: She was seen walking around in high heels "without any signs of discomfort," according to the Department of Insurance.

    "This suspect made the job of our departments' detectives easier by openly participating in high profile events," Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones said in a statement.

    The news release said 22-year-old Palmer participated in at least two beauty contests while collecting workers’ compensation, even though her doctor had provided her an orthopedic boot, crutches and instructed her not to work.

    If convicted of workers’ comp fraud, Palmer could face up to one year in the county jail, three years’ probation and $24,000 restitution.

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