Former Solano deputy’s insurance fraud case ends in Sacramento

By From page A4 | May 28, 2014

FAIRFIELD — After 45 court appearances spanning nearly four years, a former Solano County sheriff’s deputy, who faced felony charges in Sacramento County since 2010, was in court briefly last week when prosecutors dropped all charges against him.

Michael J. Oster, 51, was arrested by state insurance investigators at his Elk Grove home in June 2010. He was charged with two counts of felony insurance fraud and since then has been back to court on a nearly monthly basis. Oster posted bail in 2010, which was exonerated last year.

Sheriff’s officials said at the time of Oster’s arrest that he went out on medical disability in November 2007 and then lied about the severity of his work-related knee injury, getting nearly $88,000 more in disability payments than what he should have received.

Oster has said that the charges were dropped after he agreed to repay the disability funds he received and after he agreed to drop a federal civil rights lawsuit he had filed against the Solano County Sheriff’s Office.

Reach Jess Sullivan at 427-6919 or [email protected] Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/jsullivandr.

Jess Sullivan

Jess has covered the criminal justice system in Solano County for several years. He was an embedded reporter in Iraq in 2003.

Discussion | 6 comments

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  • Rich GiddensMay 27, 2014 - 6:42 pm

    Interesting. Very interesting.

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  • ACBMay 27, 2014 - 6:54 pm

    Too bad he dropped his civil suit the SO is a bunch of good ol boys network

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  • Danny BuntinMay 28, 2014 - 4:46 pm

    That seems kind of odd. Get caught cheating the system, then settle a criminal case by paying the money back. That type of justice will empty our prisons quickly. If I rob a bank and get caught, can I just give it back and then be on my way home. Obviously, I am missing something from this short article. We might have a case of a prosecutor breaking the law, and both of them calling it even.

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  • fryeMay 28, 2014 - 7:59 pm

    Usually these types of deals are made when both sides are worried they may lose in a jury trial. He got a good deal that he would not have taken had he not been a little bit worried about being convicted, and the prosecution got a good deal that they wouldn't have taken if they weren't worried about losing in court.

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  • Tom TolerMay 28, 2014 - 8:29 pm

    At least 5 deputies or correctional officers have been arrested for workers comp fraud. Most cases ended up dismissed and paid for the attorney of the person arrested since they never committed a crime. They were also put back to work in the same job they were in. Mike Oster is a good man and was a good deputy for our county. He was asked to relocate his family and work for us. We wanted and needed his experience in starting a K9 program. The common problem is the people who are trying to please their boss and failing their job and the oath they took. We owe Michael Oster and his family an apology. The county holds the criminal charges over his head until he drops the civil rights law suit.. Now, just who has broken the law here? No agency has any business working a case on anyone on their own agency. Mike, I'm sorry for the treatment you were given. I'm sorry we took the time to administer a oath to people that refuse to honor it. Respectfully, Tom Toler

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  • Michael OsterMay 29, 2014 - 8:58 am

    Mr. Toler thank you for your kind words, Mr Frye interesting that you think I was worried. I was willing to go to trial from day 1, even though I had been offered a misd plea bargain from the Sacramento County DA's office from the very beginning. Mr. Buntin I will offer you the same offer I gave the DR, you are welcome to view all the evidence I have that would have been brought out at trial. I have not and will not hid anything. If I was over paid then I was overpaid and paid back what I was paid. But I never did anything criminal. It is also very interesting that the Daily Republic is not interested in viewing the evidence that lead the Sacramento DA's office to re-think the whole criminal case. I stated from the very beginning that I had not do anything wrong and what I was doing was deemed to have been legal from my workers comp attorney. Had the sheriff's office done an internal affairs investigation at the beginning, when these allegations were brought against me in Oct 2009. (Note I have never seen the reported allegations that were testified to in court during my prelim. This report has never been turned over to me or the defense even thought it was testified to by the lead Solano County Investigator, a violation of my federal civil rights) Also, the Daily Republic did not wish to talk with me regarding the federal civil case rights case that concerns my 1st amendment rights that the County and Sheriffs Department violated and is STILL ongoing in Federal court and has not been dismissed, this is even though the Sacramento DA's office tried to get me to drop that case at the 11th hour in exchange for dropping the criminal charges. After I refused that offer, and I was willing to set a criminal trial date the offer of repaying the overpayment, as if was referred to now by the DA's office was again offered with no strings. Also of note is after I was arrested in 2010 the Sacramento DA's office made an offer that if I withdrew my medical retirement application from CalPERs they would drop the criminal charges. Twice the Sacramento DA's office tried to extort me into dropping or withdrawing things that had nothing to do with the criminal charges that were brought against me. Hopefully Solano County will wish to sit down with me and discuss a resolution to my federal case that is currently outstanding and also discuss a resolution to avert another federal civil right case regarding violation of civil rights under color of authority, brought regarding the criminal misconduct and perjury allegations that I found that occurred during the criminal investigation and testimony by two Solano County Sheriffs Sgt.(The lead investigator in this case was also the lead investigator in a similar case of allegations of workers comp fraud against another Solano county employee that were also dismissed when it was alleged the lead investigator lied, withheld evidence and threatened witnesses. This investigator continues to work for the sheriffs department doing investigations against other employees's.) I can be contacted at [email protected], and have a book website and facebook page at "Policeing" Coming soon will be a website and facebook page to help clear my name. Again if anyone would like to set up an appointment to view all the evidence that the county had and the evidence I uncovered along with evidence that the Sacramento County DA Investigators uncovered that showed reasonable doubt that I had committed any crime I will be happy to meet with you.

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