Full of Surprises


Life can be full of surprises. A former corrections officer, who was deemed a contributing member of society, made a bad decision and surprised the judge who delivered his sentence for carrying out six figures worth of worker’s compensation fraud.

The 44-year-old man qualified for worker’s compensation in the state of Washington after injuring his ankle and foot during a training session at a prison approximately six years ago. He reported to the state Department of Labor and Industries that the injury caused him to have difficulty when walking and prevented him from working. (There was just one problem. During the time he received disability checks, he was observed jogging and working as a security guard in Arizona.)

The former corrections officer admitted to working jobs in another state while collecting Washington state disability checks. He pleaded guilty to first-degree theft, which is a felony. He was sentenced to a week in county jail, followed by 38 days of house arrest at his home in Michigan. (This guy gets around.)

At first, it sounds like the judge went easy on him because he had no prior criminal history, but she followed up the jail time with an order to pay restitution of $100,544. (She called the restitution substantial. I call it fitting for the crime.)

This perpetrator accepted responsibility for his crimes, which was a wise move since he was guilty. It is interesting that this man, who was familiar with prison, decided to choose the same path as the prisoners he once guarded. (Perhaps he got a few inside tips on how to carry out his crime from others doing hard time.) So I’m guessing he was not surprised when his jail sentence was delivered. I bet he also knows exactly what to expect when he is behind bars. (No surprises there.)

Source: Today’s ”Fraud of the Day” is based on an article entitled, ”Former Monroe corrections officer jailed for workers comp fraud,” posted on HeraldNet.com on January 21, 2017.

EVERETT — A former Monroe corrections officer pleaded guilty Friday to first-degree theft, a felony.

John J. Gruden, 44, admitted to working jobs in another state while collecting Washington disability checks. He had claimed his injuries, sustained in Monroe, prevented him from working.

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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.