Blinded by Fraud

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You could say that people who commit fraud are blinded by their illegal acts. Perhaps they justify their crimes because they think they deserve it and fail to see that what they are doing is wrong. Today, we focus in on a Toledo, Ohio man who claimed he became blind in one eye following an on-the-job injury. Once you delve into the details of this fraudster’s case you will see that he is definitely guilty of workers’ compensation fraud.

Today’s fraudster, who owned a parking facility in downtown Toledo, claimed he was visually impaired and permanently disabled following an injury to his right eye while working. After qualifying to receive the benefits, he collected nearly $15,000 in total disability benefits for more than a year. (There’s just one problem. He continued to work at his parking facility while receiving the workers’ compensation payments. That’s a big no-no.)

The Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation Special Investigations Department conducted surveillance of the deceptive man, who continued to work and perform tasks in conflict with his injury claim. (When investigators approached the man, he told them he could not see, although he had just been observed driving his car.)

Court records show that his disability prevents him from reading, using a computer and driving due to problems with glare, depth perception, light sensitivity and discomfort in his right eye. He also claimed that there were multiple environmental conditions that irritate his injured eye such as air conditioning, cleaning materials, dust, air pollutants and wind. (Isn’t it ironic that he works outside where dust, pollutants and wind are abundant?)

The 60-year-old deceptive parking lot owner pleaded guilty to workers’ compensation fraud. He is required to serve five years of probation and pay restitution of $14,689.

In today’s digital world where just about everyone has a phone with a camera, it is puzzling as to why this fraudster claimed his particular injury, while continuing to work and collect benefits he did not deserve. Let’s hope that this man, who was once blinded by his fraudulent acts can now see the ramifications of his actions.

Today’s “Fraud of the Day” is based on an article entitled, “‘Blind’ man who drives, directs traffic, guilty of theft from workers’ comp agency’,” published by the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation on September 1, 2017.

A Toledo-area man who claimed he was too visually impaired to work must pay the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation nearly $15,000 in restitution after investigators found him driving, parking cars and directing traffic at a parking facility he owns in downtown Toledo.

Tim Tokles, 60, of Holland, Ohio, must pay BWC $14,689 and serve five years probation after pleading guilty to a first-degree misdemeanor theft count Thursday in the Franklin County Court of Common Pleas.

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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.