The Wrong Determination


In the State of Florida, most businesses with four or more employees must carry a workers’ compensation policy. State laws determine whether a business needs coverage and which employees must be included on the policy. Today’s fraud article is about a Tallahassee, Florida business owner who bypassed state law and made a determination on his own. (A wrong one, I might add.) He chose not to purchase a workers’ compensation policy for employees, which put their health, safety and welfare in danger. (Now he has to answer to charges of workers’ compensation fraud for the second time.)

It’s not very hard to apply for workers’ compensation insurance as an employer. Business owners must calculate their payroll because workers’ compensation insurance rates are based on the payroll of employees who will be covered by the policy. Then, the owner must contact an insurance agency for a quote. After a few forms are filled out, the process is complete and employees are covered for on-the-job injuries, while employers are protected from law suits. (It’s supposed to be a win-win situation.)

The Tallahassee man at the center of today’s workers’ compensation fraud case owns a medical licensing service company specializing in the licensing of physicians within the State of Florida. The company’s website touts that the business makes the process as “physician friendly” as possible by handling most of the paperwork required for proper licensure. (It’s ironic that the business owner is very familiar about filling out mounds and mounds of paperwork for his clients, but he couldn’t manage to fill out a couple of forms to ensure the safety of his workers.)

The Florida business owner was recently arrested for the second time for failing to provide workers’ compensation benefits to his employees. (He must really hate filling out paperwork.) The 48-year-old was released from a local detention center on a $5,000 bond. He admitted that he knew his workers’ compensation policy had lapsed and that he knowingly committed insurance fraud. Just as this Floridian was determined to save some money by shortchanging his employees, I’m sure Florida’s Workers’ Compensation Laws will be just as determined to make sure this man is justly sentenced for committing workers’ compensation fraud.

Today’s “Fraud of the Day” is based on an article entitled, “Business owner accused of workers’ compensation fraud,” posted on on January 30, 2019.

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) – A Tallahassee business owner was arrested for failing to provide the state-mandated workers’ compensation benefits to his employees.

Michele Andrea Bertoldi, 48, was released from the Leon County Detention Center on Sunday on a $5,000 bond.

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Larry Benson, Senior Director of Strategic Alliances, LexisNexis Risk Solutions - Government

Larry Benson is responsible for developing strategic partnerships and solutions for the government vertical. His expertise focuses on how government programs are defrauded by criminal groups, and the approaches necessary to prevent them from succeeding.

Mr. Benson has 30 years of experience in sales and business development. Before joining LexisNexis® Risk Solutions, he spent 12 years founding and managing two software technology startups. During the 1990s he spent 10 years as a Regional Director helping to grow a New England-based technology company from 300 employees to 7,000. He started his career with Martin Marietta Aerospace working on laser guided weapons and day/night vision systems.

A sought-after speaker and accomplished writer, Mr. Benson is the principal author of “Fraud of the Day,” a website dedicated to educating government officials about how criminals are defrauding government programs. He has co-authored WTF? Where’s the Fraud? How to Unmask and Stop Identity Fraud’s Drain on Our Government, and Data Personified, How Fraud is Changing the Meaning of Identity.

Benson holds a Bachelor of Science in Physics from Albright College, and earned two graduate degrees – a Master of Business Administration from Florida Institute of Technology, and a Master of Science in Engineering from Lehigh University.