Officer charged with disability fraud after Ice Bucket Challenge video

Pasadena police officer charged with insurance fraud

The Pasadena Police Department on Garfield Avenue and Walnut Street in 2011. Authorities say a Pasadena police officer is charged with insurance fraud for allegedly participating in an Ice Bucket Challenge even though she was injured.

(Cheryl A. Guerrero / Los Angeles Times)

Many people drenched themselves in freezing water in the viral campaign known as the Ice Bucket Challenge, which raised money last summer for ALS research.

The campaign swept the country with celebrities, children and law enforcement officials filming each other as buckets of ice were poured over their heads, later posting the videos on YouTube.

But in Pasadena, the hype may have led to the downfall of one officer.

Prosecutors said Pasadena police Officer Jaime Robison, 39, was supposed to be on disability for a lower back injury when she participated in the Ice Bucket Challenge.


In a video posted online in July 2014, Robison was shown picking up a five-gallon bucket containing ice water and pouring it over a fellow police officer, according to the Los Angeles County district attorney’s office.

The video caught the attention of investigators, who charged her with four counts of insurance fraud. She pleaded not guilty Friday to the charges.

Prosecutors alleged Robison’s actions resulted in losses of up to $117,000.

Robison is accused of exaggerating her injuries to collect disability benefits, according to prosecutor Arunas Sodonis.


Calls to her attorney and to the police department were not immediately returned.

Prosecutors believe she also exaggerated an injury in 2012 to collect more than a year’s worth of disability pay.

If convicted of all charges, Robison faces a maximum sentence of six years and four months in county jail.

For breaking news in California, follow @VeronicaRochaLA.

Get our Essential California newsletter