Former Bellator fighter Raphael Davis has reached a plea agreement with the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s office following charges stemming from filing fraudulent worker’s compensation claims.
Davis was initially charged after filing worker’s compensation claims from his job as a firefighter in Los Angeles, after suffering injuries on the job. During his time away while collecting worker’s compensation, Davis continued to compete and train in mixed martial arts.
The charges will be reduced from four felony counts of filing false worker’s comp claims to a lone misdemeanor conviction. As part of the agreement, Davis must complete 200 hours of community service and repay the $30,000 he earned during the disability claims.
Davis explained when speaking to MMAWeekly.com on Wednesday that the original injury that forced him out of work was a torn labrum suffered when he was still new on the job. Years later the aggravated injury forced him out of work by doctor’s orders.
According to Davis, the entire situation was a big mistake on his part, but in no way was he actually trying to steal money or end up in the kind of trouble that happened with this court case.
“I was trying to do the right thing for my family. My wife wasn’t working at the time, and we had a new kid, and I was just trying to do the right thing. I thought because I was being up front with my doctor, worst case I’m not lying, I can’t get in trouble about this whole thing,” Davis explained.
“That’s just plain stupidity on my part, and here I am.”
Davis says he was in constant contact with his doctor and tried to get cleared to return to his work as a firefighter in Los Angeles, but the injuries he was suffering from were enough to prevent them from allowing him to go back.
The injuries didn’t interfere with his MMA training however, and so Davis continued to compete in several organizations including Bellator Fighting Championships.
“It wasn’t like I was going, I’m trying to steal a bunch of money and get away with this. That wasn’t it, and even at that point I knew I was going to have to pay some of this money back, I knew that, even then. But then again, I was looking to try to better a position here at home, and that’s all it was,” said Davis.
“I never ever made a claim of getting injured either training or at a fight, and then going into work going ‘oh I’m hurt today’.”
Now Davis hopes with the plea agreement in place that he can put this whole ugly situation behind him, and get back to his fight career.
While 2012 will likely be remembered as a nightmare for Davis, he hopes to redeem himself before the year ends and build on this for a much better 2013.
“It’s cost me tons of money, it’s hurt my family in the long run, but it’s nice to finally get this thing behind me and be done with it,” said Davis.
“That way I can move on with my life, and do what I need to do to stabilize my family.”
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