Workers' comp claim questioned when beauty pageant contestant walks in high heels

Shawna Palmer was seen participating in the 2014 Miss Toyota Long Beach Grand Prix beauty contest.
By Evan Bleier  |  Aug. 13, 2014 at 9:56 AM
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RIVERSIDE, Calif., Aug. 13 (UPI) -- Things might get ugly for a California beauty queen contestant who is facing charges of workers' compensation fraud.

Shawna Palmer allegedly faked an injury that made it impossible for her to walk so she could collect benefits and was then seen in YouTube videos at competitions strutting in high heels.

While she was working as a clerk at Stater Brothers, Palmer claimed that she fractured a toe on her left foot and began collecting workers' compensation benefits.

According to authorities, there is video evidence of the 22-year-old competing in heels at the 2014 Miss Toyota Long Beach Grand Prix beauty contest.

"Fraudulently collecting workers' compensation benefits by lying about the severity of an injury is illegal, and insulting to legitimately injured Californians," said California Insurance Department Commissioner Dave Jones. "This suspect made the job of our departments' detectives easier by openly participating in high profile events."

If she is convicted, Palmer is facing up to a year in county jail and $24,000 in restitution.

"She certainly possessed beauty and bravado, but certainly not too much brains," Deputy Insurance Commissioner Byron Tucker told KCAL9. "She lied to her employer, she lied to her doctor, she lied to a lot of people. She eventually got arrested and busted for this."

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