Empty Pot O’ Gold

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Today’s ”Fraud of the Day” covers three different instances of workers’ compensation fraud. Fortunately, the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC) Special Investigation Department (SID) was able to stop three individuals from stealing benefits they did not deserve and is set to recover nearly $25,000 from the multiple schemes.

The first fraudster was a truck driver when he suffered an on-the-job injury more than 20 years ago and subsequently received injured workers’ benefits for about two decades. As a result of a tip to the BWC, the SID discovered that he was working as a delivery driver for an Amish roofing company. (Obviously disqualifying him from receiving any workers’ compensation benefits.) The 54-year-old must pay back $14,520 in restitution plus $2,530 to cover investigative costs. His sentence to serve 180 days in jail was suspended and he received four years of community control instead.

The second fraudster falsely claimed on his job search forms that he had applied for work with 40 potential employers. (That just goes to show you that the government is serious about verifying your claims, so make sure you tell the truth the first time around.) His falsified job forms landed him with a suspended 30-day jail sentence and one year of community control. The 66-year-old was ordered by the judge to pay the BWC $5,000 to cover the costs of his investigation.

The last fraudster was convicted for failure to comply after the BWC found that he was operating not one, but four gas stations with lapsed workers’ compensation policies. (That’s scary considering the dangers of the work environment.)The judge ordered the 36-year-old to be compliant. (Apparently, he complied with three out of four policies and paid off the outstanding balance of $2,824 for the last policy.)

Workers’ compensation fraud may come in many different forms, but all steal from the same pot of money. These government benefits are meant to help those who are legitimately injured on-the-job, not be the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow for lazy criminals who intend to steal what they do not deserve.

Source: Today’s ”Fraud of the Day” is based on an article entitled, ”Holidays Bring Convictions to 3 Workers’ Comp Cheats in Ohio” posted on workerscompensation.com on January 9, 2017.

Columbus, OH (WorkersCompensation.com) – A northeast Ohio truck driver on injured workers’ benefits since 1993 is on the hook for $17,000 after pleading guilty to workers’ compensation fraud Tuesday in the Franklin County Court of Common Pleas.

William Seckler, 54, of the village of Andover in Ashtabula County, must pay the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC) $14,520 in restitution and $2,530 in investigative costs for working while receiving permanent total disability benefits. A judge also ordered Seckler to serve 180 days in jail, suspended, and four years of community control for the first-degree misdemeanor.

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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.