Duped

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Fraudsters can be cunning and extremely persuasive. They will say and do just about anything necessary to carry out their ruse, even if it means exploiting a loved one, friend or boss. A man from Lancaster, Ohio fits that bill and used his girlfriend and boss to commit workers’ compensation fraud.

The Ohioan at the center of our fraud case today was collecting injured workers benefits from the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC), while simultaneously working for a heating and air conditioning company for about six months in 2016. The two-timer concealed his employment with the air conditioning company by persuading his employer to issue his paychecks to his girlfriend in her name. (Even though the article states that the fraudster gave his boss a plausible explanation, boy did the boss ever get duped. Did the worker’s request not raise a few red flags in the boss’ mind?)

 The Lancaster, Ohio fraudster pleaded guilty to workers’ compensation fraud. The judge sentenced him to 180 days in jail, but then suspended the jail sentence and ordered five years of probation. (His girlfriend may also face charges for her role in helping her boyfriend defraud the BWC.)

There is one condition to this lesser sentence though, he must maintain employment and pay restitution of $6,879 to the BWC, or he’ll be put behind bars. (Sounds like a great plan, but I bet the boss he duped doesn’t want him as an employee any longer. He may have trouble finding someone to hire him with his new criminal record.)

I imagine that if his girlfriend was not in on the scam, she is also feeling duped. If implicated in this crime, she may end up doing time in some way, shape or form, which will probably change the status of her relationship with her fraudster boyfriend. (Let’s hope the fraudster’s boss and girlfriend both kick him to the curb, a little wiser and with resolve to never be duped again.)

Today’s “Fraud of the Day” is based on an article entitled, Central Ohio man convicted of work comp fraud,” published by Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation on February 16, 2018.

A Lancaster man must pay the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation nearly $7,000 in restitution after pleading guilty to workers’ compensation fraud Monday for a scheme that could land his girlfriend in court as well.

Charles Malone, 43, worked for a heating and air conditioning company for six months in 2016 while simultaneously collecting injured worker benefits from BWC. To hide his employment, he duped his employer into issuing his paychecks to his girlfriend in her name.

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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.