At best, the crime, as described by judicial investigators, was not well thought out. In other words, there were bound to be arrests.
The case revolves around the system by which the Caja Costarricense de Seguro Social reimburses an employee who is ill with 60 percent of the normal salary. After an employee is out sick for three days, the employer is not obligated to pay wages. So the Caja picks up the slack.
Judicial police detained 15 persons Wednesday in an investigation of a scam that took advantage of the Caja policy.
The bulk of those detained are accused of pretending to be drug addicts or alcoholics so they could pretend to be disabled and unable to work. The Judicial police said they collected the 60 percent disability pay while still being employed full time. Some were security guards. Some were bank employees.
Since they were working full time,their employers were also reporting their salaries to the Caja. So the case was uncovered by the audit department of the Caja when workers there noticed that individuals were getting disability pay but also being reported each month as full-time employees.
The Poder Judicial said the amount gained in the scam was about 13 million colons, or about $26,000. The case is in the hands of fraud prosecutors.
All of those detained are from the San José area. Judicial police said that each received a false statement from a center that treats alcoholics and drug addicts that they were disabled due to these afflictions.
With that paper, the Instituto de Alcoholismo y Farmacodependencia issued a document that was accepted by physicians working at Caja clinics and the workers were declared incapacitated.
Judicial police said that the institute and the employers of the suspects participated in the investigation.