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 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.