Caught on Camera

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High Angle View Of A Person With Fractured Hand Filling Health Insurance Form

A lot of fraudsters who try to scam workers’ compensation programs get caught while working out in the gym. (It’s hard to lie when there’s footage of you lifting heavy weights when you’re supposedly injured.) Kelly M. Gersbacher, 45, of Mattydale, N.Y., was caught on surveillance lifting weights and running errands even though she claimed she suffered carpal tunnel-related injuries to both of her arms while working as a Verizon technician in August 2016.

While she had several surgeries between 2017 and 2019, the former Verizon employee lied about the injuries she purportedly sustained so she could obtain workers’ compensation benefits. Gersbacher qualified for and began receiving workers’ compensation indemnity payments in January 2019. (She was robbing the safety net intended for qualified recipients across New York.) She also collected disability payments through her employer.

During several medical exams in 2019, Gersbacher claimed she could only lift 10 pounds from the ground and stated that she was unable to go to the gym. However, video surveillance captured in September and October 2019 proved otherwise. (She was doing “deadlifts” with weights greater than 10 pounds. If she actually had a legitimate carpal tunnel syndrome injury, that would have been very painful to do.)

While Gersbacher was originally charged with six felony counts of state workers’ compensation fraud, she pleaded guilty to a reduced charge of falsifying business records and agreed to pay restitution of $19,890 as part of the plea deal. She was also sentenced to a one-year conditional discharge. (That means that the crime will only appear on her record for one year, then it will be removed. In other words, she pleaded guilty, but there was no conviction.)

Today’s Fraud of the Day comes from an article, “Caught on camera, CNY woman pleads guilty in state workers compensation fraud case,” posted on Syracuse.com on November 10, 2021.

A former Verizon New York worker initially facing six felony counts of state workers compensation fraud has pleaded guilty to a reduced charge and agreed to pay restitution.

Kelly M. Gersbacher, 45, of Mattydale, pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of falsifying business records and will repay $19,890 as part of the plea deal.

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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.