Grab on to the Life Raft

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Ohio’s Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC) has a mission of protecting the state’s workers and employers through the prevention, care and management of workplace injuries and illnesses. Through the efficient management of the program, employees can get back to work and insurance rates can be kept low for Ohio businesses. A Mansfield, Ohio area businessman committed workers’ compensation fraud in an attempt to save himself some money up front, but in the end, it cost him the original amount he owed and now he has a record.

The businessman, who owned a pool and spa company in Lexington, Ohio failed to carry workers’ compensation for his employees. (This is a big no-no as it is a state requirement.) The BWC discovered the business lacked coverage when one of the pool company’s employees was injured and filed for workers’ compensation benefits.

Today’s article states that while the pool and spa company owner tried several times to obtain a certificate of coverage, he did so using false information on his application. (It’s never a smart idea to lie on a government application.) He filed fake records to avoid paying his past due premiums.

The BWC tried to bring the Ohio business under compliance several times, but the owner failed to cooperate. (It’s awfully nice that the BWC gave him multiple opportunities to correct the situation.)

The fraudster from Ohio pleaded guilty to workers’ compensation fraud and must serve five years of probation. He must also pay more than $33,000 in restitution to the BWC. (This includes $27,516 for past premiums and $5,833 for the cost of the agency’s investigation.)

 It looks like the BWC sunk this man’s plans for avoiding his responsibilities as an employer. (Perhaps the next time a government organization gives him a few extra chances to make things right, he’ll know to grab on to the life raft offered and start paddling instead of drowning in avoidance.)

Today’s “Fraud of the Day” is based on an article entitled, “Fraud Scheme Doesn’t Float for Ohio Swimming Pool Business Owner,” published by the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation on November 3, 2017.

A Mansfield-area businessman must pay more than $33,000 in restitution to the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation for filing phony records and scheming to avoid his debt for past premiums.

Roger L. Graszl, the owner of Premier Gunite Unlimited Pools & Spas in Lexington, Ohio, also was sentenced to five years probation Wednesday in the Richland County Court of Common Pleas. The sentencing followed his guilty plea Sept. 13 to two third-degree felony counts of tampering with records.

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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.