A few years ago, Tustin Police Department officers Kyle and Kendal Hurd encountered the same problem only months apart.
After years of wearing their policing gear and duty belt, as well as getting into and out of patrol vehicles, the married couple said they were each left with chronic back pain. Kendal, 40, claimed she couldn’t pick up more than 3 pounds unless she was under supervision at physical therapy, adding that standing for longer than five minutes caused severe pain.
The Hurds received workers’ compensation for their injuries, which they told their doctors caused pain that “increased with activity and improved with rest.”
However, according to a release from the Orange County District Attorney’s Office, “they never disclosed to their doctors that they in fact were capable of doing much more than what they represented.”
In fact, they were able to mountain bike, scuba dive and perform home improvement projects while they raked in more than $188,000 in disability payments, the release said.
The Tustin Police Department fired them in 2021, and now, the Hurds now face numerous felony counts related to alleged workers’ compensation fraud.
The alleged deception was captured on video by the city, which started surveilling them after the couple failed to improve after “receiving medical care for numerous months,” prosecutors said.
Kendal and Kyle, 38, have been charged with multiple felony counts of insurance fraud, perjury and attempted perjury.
“This is such an egregious breach of the public’s trust by two people who were sworn to uphold our laws, not break them,” said District Attorney Todd Spitzer. “We will not allow those who commit workers’ compensation fraud to go unpunished, and we will do everything we can to return the fraudulently paid money back to the taxpayers of Tustin.”
If convicted, Kendal could be sentenced to 11 years in state prison, while Kyle faces up to nine years and six months.
In addition, “if convicted of any of the charged felonies, they will lose any pension benefits that accrued from the date of the commission of the crime and they will be prohibited from working as peace officers in the future,” the OCDA said.