Better to Be Safe than Sorry

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A workers’ compensation policy is one of the most important policies a business must maintain. Because accidents are inevitable despite the enforcement of safety procedures, it is important for employers to maintain a workers’ compensation policy so employees are protected if injured while on-the-job. Two different companies are the focus of today ‘s “Fraud of the Day” because they both had lapsed coverage, putting their employees and their businesses at risk.

A workers’ compensation policy covers employees who are injured on the job for any medical care or necessary rehabilitation received, plus loss of wages as a result of the injury incurred. It also protects the business from any lawsuits filed against them because of a worker ‘s injury.

An Ohio body shop owner, who got into trouble for letting his workers’ compensation policy lapse for nearly five years, is the first company profiled. He pleaded guilty to one count of attempted workers’ compensation fraud and was sentenced to six months in jail, although the sentence was suspended and he now must serve three years on probation. (The faster he pays his restitution of $5,686 to the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation, the quicker the probation sentence will be terminated. Now there ‘s a great incentive.)

Another case regarding a company ‘s lapsed workers’ compensation insurance policy involves the owner of a cleaning service company. The woman, who owns the company with her husband, pleaded guilty to a second-degree misdemeanor count of failure to comply and was also sentenced to three years of probation. (At sentencing, she proved that she had already paid $1,000 toward her debt of $3,884.)

These two business owners neglected the State of Ohio ‘s requirement to carry a workers’ compensation policy for their employees. Perhaps the two were trying to save a bit of money by dropping the coverage. (Luckily, they did not have any incidents.) However, all it takes is for one accident to occur and a business owner, not to mention an injured employee, could lose everything. (As the adage goes, it is better to be safe than sorry.)

Source: Today’s “Fraud of the Day” is based on an article entitled, “Lapsed coverage leads to court convictions for two Ohio employers,” published by Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation on February 3, 2017.

A southern Ohio body shop owner must pay the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC) nearly $6,000 for not carrying workers’ compensation coverage while running his business.

Ironton resident Roland Samons, owner of the Shafer Brothers Body Shop, pleaded guilty Jan. 18 to one count of attempted workers’ compensation fraud, a first-degree misdemeanor. A Lawrence County judge sentenced Samons to six months in jail before suspending the sentence and placing Samons on three years probation. Probation will terminate sooner once Samons pays BWC $5,686 in restitution.

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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.