“Yellowstone” actress Q’Orianka Kilcher has been charged with two felony counts of disability payment fraud, according to reports.
She is accused of illegally collecting nearly $97,000 in disability benefits while working on the smash-hit TV show, authorities said Monday.
32-year-old Kilcher, who lives in North Hollywood, played Angela Blue Thunder in four episodes of the Paramount Network’s smash hit show starring Kevin Costner.
Kilcher first rose to fame by playing Pocahontas in the 2005 movie “The New World.”
She has been charged with two felony counts of workers’ compensation insurance fraud.
Her attorney, Michael Becker, said: “Third-party doctors verified her injury and entitlement to benefits.
“Ms. Kilcher was at all times candid with her doctors and treatment providers and she never intentionally accepted benefits that she did not believe she was entitled to.
“Kilcher will vigorously defend herself and asks that she be afforded the presumption of innocence both in and outside the courthouse,” Becker said.
The California Department of Insurance issued a statement that said:
“Q’Orianka Kilcher, 32, of North Hollywood, has been charged with two felony counts of workers’ compensation insurance fraud.
“An investigation by the California Department of Insurance found Kilcher allegedly broke the law in collecting over $90,000 in disability benefits.
“Kilcher’s attorney appeared in court today on her behalf and her next scheduled court date is August 7, 2022.
“California law prohibits misrepresenting injuries to medical providers to collect workers’ compensation insurance benefits, yet the investigation found Kilcher worked on ‘Yellowstone’ during the time she told a doctor she had been too injured to work.
“The Department of Insurance is the lead agency investigating workers’ compensation insurance fraud, which in 2020-2021 fiscal year resulted in a potential loss of $161,947,968, costing California businesses and increasing costs to workers.
“In October 2018 while acting in the movie ‘Dora and the Lost City of Gold,’ Kilcher allegedly injured her neck and right shoulder.
“She saw a doctor a few times that year, but stopped treatment and did not respond to the insurance company handling her claim on behalf of her employer.
“A year later, in October 2019, Kilcher contacted the insurance company saying she needed treatment.
“Kilcher told the doctor handling her claim that she had been offered work since her injury occurred but had been unable to accept it because her neck pain was too severe.
“Based on Kilcher’s statements to the doctor, she began receiving temporary total disability benefits.
“After reviewing wage information from her employer, the investigation found Kilcher had worked as an actress on the television show ‘Yellowstone’ from July 2019 to October 2019, despite her statements to the doctor that she had been unable to work for a year.
“According to records, she returned to the doctor and started receiving disability benefits five days after last working on the show.
“When told about Kilcher’s recent employment history, the doctor on her claim stated if they had been aware of it they would have never granted her the disability payments.
“From October 14, 2019, through September 9, 2021, Kilcher’s received $96,838 in undeserved disability benefits.
“Kilcher self-surrendered and was arraigned on May 27, 2022,” the statement said.
“The Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office is prosecuting this case.”