Bum Knee

67811331 - a typical american police car

Most people who can attest to having a torn ACL in their knee would say that it is a painful injury. The man at the center of today’s ”Fraud of the Day” case claimed that he had injured his knee (an MRI showed a torn ACL)while in the parking lot of the precinct where he worked as a police officer. Consequently, he filed for and received thousands of dollars in worker’s compensation benefits. (However, it turns out that he was not telling the whole story about his bum knee.)

The former police officer claimed he had injured his knee in the parking lot while transferring his 35-pound gear bag into his police cruiser. (The injury was not witnessed by anyone else and was out of view from the police station’s surveillance cameras.) Over a six-month period, he collected $34,058 in worker’s compensation benefits.

One day after the man reported being injured, an internal affairs investigation was opened into the worker’s compensation claim with the city. It turns out that a co-worker reported that he and others had carried the injured man to a car to be taken home after he had been involved in a drunken wrestling match. His wife drove him to work the day after the rumble and dropped him off in the parking lot where he evidently re-injured his knee.

It wasn’t long before the former police officer retired from his job on medical disability. Two years later, the Worker’s Compensation Fraud Unit received a complaint against the man. The man with the bum knee subsequently filed a civil suit against the city claiming he was forced to retire from the department after filing his worker’s compensation claim. (Ironically, he withdrew the suit several days before he was convicted.)

The 54-year-old fraudster pleaded guilty to third-degree larceny and was ordered to repay $34,000 to the city for worker’s compensation fraud. He was also sentenced to a three-year suspended prison sentence plus five years of probation.

This case sends a pretty loud message to anyone who might try to defraud their employer. The government doesn’t take kindly to legitimately injured workers getting a bum deal because fraudsters illegally collect benefits they don’t deserve.

Source: Today’s ”Fraud of the Day” is based on an article entitled, ”Former Meriden police officer ordered to repay city $34,000 for workers’ comp fraud,” published on myrecordjournal.com on October 14, 2016.

MERIDEN — A former police officer was sentenced last week after being convicted of fraudulently collecting more than $34,000 in workers’ compensation benefits.

Leighton (Buddy) Gibbs, 54, of 149 Elm St., pleaded guilty to third-degree larceny in August and was sentenced last week to a three year suspended prison sentence and five years probation. He will also have to repay the city in full. Gibbs did not return a call for comment Friday.

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Larry Benson
Larry Benson is currently the Director of Strategic Alliances for Revenue Discovery and Recovery at LexisNexis Risk Solutions. In this role, Benson is responsible for developing partnerships for the tax and revenue and child support enforcement verticals. He focuses on embedded companies that have a need for third-party analytics to enhance their current offerings.