A former Cabrillo Unified School District bus driver claimed he suffered a right eye injury from a co-worker blasting a high-pressure water hose at him. He said the injury left him with headaches and blurry vision in 2015. He said he couldn’t drive and received workers compensation from the district.
Rick Rossi’s claims were false, authorities say.
The 60-year-old was convicted of insurance and auto fraud in July and sentenced to 60 days in jail and three years’ probation.
He must also pay $60,000 in restitution to Cabrillo Unified, of which he has already paid about $56,000.
“This guy’s really quite the fraud,” District Attorney Stephen Wagstaffe said.
Keenan and Associates, a private insurance consulting and brokerage firm, referred the file to Regency Investigations for surveillance. That inquiry revealed Rossi was driving and hitting targets with a gun at long distances at a shooting range, Keenan officials said, indicating he was able to work. Investigators also say he pointed a gun at them and followed them, but no charges were ever filed as a result.
Cabrillo Unified officials declined to comment, but confirmed Rossi has not been an employee at the district “for several years.”
The investigation also discovered that Rossi filed an insurance claim, saying his parked car was hit. Google Earth images from five months before, however, show the damage already existed, according to the DA’s report.
Defense attorney Joshua Davis who represented Rossi said, “(Rossi) took responsibility and is thankful to put this matter behind him, especially for his family.”