The owners of a defunct Palmdale marijuana dispensary have been arrested after refusing to provide workers' compensation for a guard shot and injured in robberies, the L.A. County District Attorney’s office announced on Tuesday.
The pair, Tiffany Shorter, 26, and Jabe Satterfield, 77, allegedly told the security guard at their Green Cactus Collective Medical Marijuana Dispensary to lie about his employment status after he was shot and beaten in two robberies there in 2013.
Shorter and Satterfield are facing up to four years in prison if convicted.
According to a statement from the D.A.’s office, in November 2013 the security officer was shot three times while suspects robbed the dispensary. Shorter and Satterfield allegedly told him to lie and say he was a volunteer, not an employee, which made him ineligible for workers' compensation insurance benefits. The employee, without workers' compensation benefits and in fear of losing his job, continued working.
The following month, the same employee was beaten with a firearm in a second robbery at the site and sustained further injuries. Again, lack of insurance coverage meant he was liable for all his medical expenses, according to the D.A.
Both Shorter and Satterfield were booked at the Palmdale sheriff’s station; Shorter posted bail and her arraignment is set for May 18. Satterfield has been arraigned on the charges and his preliminary hearing setting date is May 18.
The Green Cactus Collective was located at 36153 Sierra Highway in Palmdale. A new medical marijuana dispensary now occupies that location but the D.A.’s office said it is not known whether Shorter and Satterfield are associated with the new business.
“This case serves as a reminder that workers' compensation fraud is a costly crime for employees who are left uncovered when their employers cheat the system,” said Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones, in a statement. “The costs of these crimes are passed on to consumers through higher rates and premiums and drain the state's economy of billions of dollars annually.”