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Woman faces worker’s comp fraud charge

MERIDEN — A woman faces fraud charges after police say she collected worker’s compensation pay while she continued to work at another business.

Brenda Shuler, 62, of 51 Holly Mar Hill Road in Northford was arrested Sept. 19 and charged with first-degree larceny, worker’s compensation fraud over $2,000 and perjury. She is represented by a public defender.

According to police reports, on Nov. 16, 2003 Shuler reported a work-related injury while employed at Regency House in Wallingford. An attorney for Regency House told police Shuler was placed on temporary total disability, meaning she was determined to be unable to work in any capacity, the report said. The attorney for Regency House told police since the time of the injury Shuler has owned, operated and worked at her business, Sistas Salon and Spa in Meriden, the report said.

Police reviewed records and determined Shuler, a registered nurse, was working her shift at Regency House when a resident in a wheelchair pushed into her, the report said. While trying to prevent herself from falling, Shuler said she twisted her knee and back, the report said. Shuler was treated for her injury at MidState Medical Center and given physical therapy, the report said. She was placed on temporary partial disability at the time of the incident, but because Regency House could not accommodate the restrictions Shuler was not required to return to work, the report said.

In paperwork sent to an insurance company when Shuler filed for disability pay, she stated she had not worked at Sistas Salon and Spa since the date of her injury at Regency House, the report said. Shuler received temporary partial disability pay from Nov. 16, 2003 until Nov. 16, 2008, the report said. She was changed to temporary total disability and received pay from Nov. 16, 2008 through March 22, 2010, the report said.

Police spoke with former salon workers who said they had seen Shuler at the salon since her injury in 2003. Police discovered Shuler did not file tax returns for 2006 through 2008, the report said.

Shuler received $282,534.52 in temporary total and partial disability benefits from November 2003 through March 2010, the report said. At a worker’s compensation hearing in March 2010, Shuler gave false testimony and denied working at Sistas Salon and Spa, and “mistakenly turned over” a wage statement showing she earned $96,000 in 2004, the report said.

Shuler was due in Meriden Superior Court on Tuesday. Her case was handled by the Chief State Attorney’s office and continued until Nov. 15.

lsievert@record-journal.com (203) 317-2225 Twitter: @LaurenSievertRJ



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