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Chrissie Cole
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Bowhunter Indicted in Workers Compensation Fraud

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While fraudulently collecting over $667,000 in workers compensation and disability payments, David, a former Denver police officer, was also busy building up his reputation as a bowhunter – heading trips to Africa, making instructional videos and writing books.

He is being indicted on nine counts of forgery, one count of making a false statement and two counts of theft. If convicted he faces up to 54 years in prison and a fine up to $2.5 million.

The indictment alleges he lied about his disability for over eighteen years, convincing medical doctors that he suffered from serious physical and psychological problems.

Holt started working as a Denver police officer in 1968. According to the indictment returned Friday in Denver District Court, he claimed to have hurt himself in March 1986 while running a Denver Police Department obstacle course.

Though initial tests were negative, tests six days later revealed Holt may have been suffering from a ruptured blood vessel just outside his brain. He also told doctors he was suffering severe psychological problems, including paranoia, short-term memory loss and an inability to control his emotions, the indictment states.

In 1986, he was approved for temporary disability, receiving weekly payments. The next year, he was granted complete disability. Meanwhile, he was working on his first book, which he claims friends helped him to complete. In the years to come he traveled to promote the book taking trips around the world and more.

Suspicious of his bowhunting activites, in 2004, Denver hired investigators to survey his acitivies. Following the investigation, a psychologist was hired to conduct a formal examination which he was required to attend.

He missed the first two appointments, saying he was too upset to attend. When they did meet, he sat in a corner. He seemed “childlike and fearful,” and said he couldn’t read or write without help, according to the indictment.

The psychologist diagnosed Holt as “malingering,” or faking or exaggerating his illness, and Denver moved to revoke his disability status. Colorado Attorney General took the case to a statewide grand jury last fall.

His bond has been set at $1 million dollars. At this time his attorney is unsure when he will be returning to Colorado.

For more information on this subject, please refer to our section on Workplace Injuries and Discrimination.