A former Crystal Lake police officer avoided prison after pleading guilty to fraudulently obtaining almost $100,000 in benefits after falsely claiming he was injured from an on-duty crash.
Victor Robelet, 45, of the 12400 block of Lasalle Lane in Huntley, was charged with 11 counts of Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act Fraud, two counts of theft by deception, insurance fraud, state benefits fraud and forgery.
A motion filed by Assistant State’s Attorney Randi Freese said that Robelet was employed by the City of Crystal Lake as a police officer.
Robelet was on patrol on August 19, 2014, when he was rear-ended by another driver.
The other driver reported that she was traveling at less than 10 mph and Robelet was evaluated by paramedics and released at the scene without needing to be transported to the hospital, Freese said.
Both vehicles sustained “very minor” damage and Robelet drove his squad car back to the Crystal Lake Police Department.
Police administration sent Robelet to a physician and he told the doctor he had been rear-ended by a vehicle traveling 30-40 mph.
The treating physician diagnosed him with a left shoulder strain and a left-side cervical strain.
Freese said that Robelet worked for the next nine weeks on regular duty as a police officer without any complaints about being able to perform his duties.
He also worked approximately 56.5 hours of overtime.
Robelet in late October 2014 obtained an MRI of his left shoulder and never again returned to work.
The City of Crystal Lake and its insurance provider, Illinois Risk Management Agency, hired a private company to conduct surveillance on Robelet due to his sudden inability to work perform work, even light-duty, the motion said.
Robelet was surveilled in November 2014 moving in a fluid and unrestricted manner, Freese said. He was seen lifting multiple items with both arms and was also seen driving multiple times.
Due to his workers’ compensation claim, Robelet was paid 100% of his salary through July 2015.
Robelet underwent surgery on his left shoulder in January 2015 and doctors said the surgery was successful and expected him to make a full recovery and return to work.
Robelet told doctors and physical therapists that he was unable to drive safely and that regular movement caused him “great pain,” Freese said.
The man was surveilled again in March 2015 which showed him driving on a number of occasions despite telling doctors that he could not drive.
Robelet was also surveilled lifting his young child and other items without any indication of pain or limitations, the motion said.
Police administration in May 2015 met with Robelet’s doctor and inquired about the results of a follow-up MRI, which the doctor said showed no tear.
Court records show Robelet entered into a negotiated plea deal with the McHenry County State’s Attorney’s Office on May 9.
He pleaded guilty to one count of Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act Fraud in excess of $10,000, a Class 2 felony.
In exchange, prosecutors dismissed the rest of the charges against Robelet, who was fired from his job in July 2015.
McHenry County Judge Michael Coppedge approved the plea deal and sentenced Robelet to two years of conditional discharge and ordered him to pay $1,374 in court fines and fees.
Robelet was also ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $72,963 to the Intergovernmental Risk Management Agency and $21,576 to the City of Crystal Lake.