Come on Down

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To be successful at workers’ compensation fraud, criminals must be experts in malingering – the act of faking a physical or psychological illness for personal gain. According to an article in The Week, a postal worker from North Carolina did a great job of feigning illness and collecting disability checks for approximately nine years, until she was caught on the national television game show, ”The Price Is Right,” using her injured shoulder to spin the ‘Big Wheel’. (Well, if you’re going to go out in a blaze of glory or shame, you might as well do it on national TV.)

According to the article, the woman allegedly injured her shoulder while on the job in 2004. She claimed the inability to lift mail trays into her truck and was in so much pain she was unable to stand, run, reach or grab. (That makes it kind of tough to deliver mail while being chased by neighborhood dogs.) Evidently, her $3,000 a month in workers’ compensation benefits was not enough, so she tried her luck on the ”The Price Is Right” in 2009. After being chosen to ”come on down” and be a contestant, she used her left shoulder and arm to make the first spin on the ‘Big Wheel’, then grabbed the wheel with both arms and made the second spin, although she claimed to investigators later that she was in pain during the entire experience.

The former postal worker’s television debut obviously raised the suspicions of investigators. Further research revealed that one year later, she was able to go zip lining with her husband while on vacation. By 2011, she was claiming that she could not stand, sit, kneel, squat, climb bend, reach or grasp. (That doesn’t leave her with a lot of options for movement.) Yet, pictures on social media revealed photos of her lifting furniture and carrying groceries with both arms.

The celebrity fraudster pleaded guilty to compensation fraud. Her sentencing is scheduled for September.

Who knows what her sentence will be, but she can’t fake her injury anymore. With no more pain, there will be no more gain.

Source: Today’s ”Fraud of the Day” is based on an article titled, ”Woman Suspected of Workers’ Comp Fraud Caught on The Price is Right,” published in The Week on April 21, 2014.

Come on down! You’re about to be the next contestant to get caught apparently committing fraud on The Price is Right!

Cathy Cashwell made a big mistake last year when she appeared on the beloved game show and spun the Big Wheel not once but twice, despite the fact that she was off work for a shoulder injury that purportedly made her “totally unable to stand, run, reach, or grab,” according to an ABC news investigation. Cashwell (you can’t really blame her for going on The Price is Right — she had the perfect name) was collecting $3,000 a month in workers’ comp when she made her television debut, ABC News says.

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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.