Hit Head On

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High Angle View Of A Person With Fractured Hand Filling Health Insurance Form

Issaac Newton supposedly discovered gravity when he was sitting under a tree and an apple fell on his head. A modern-day comparison could be made to a sprinkler falling near a woman’s head and the woman having her own “aha” moment about how to best exploit the experience. (Stick with me here.)

Sheyla Veronica White saw a faulty sprinkler head drop from the ceiling onto her desk as she was working at her job in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Despite the sprinkler landing several feet away, White saw this as an opportunity to fraudulently claim she was injured while on-the-job. (Fraudsters are very resourceful. They’ll turn any scenario into a way to make a quick buck.)

Security footage revealed that White picked up the sprinkler and hit herself over the head with it to make it appear that it had fallen directly on her. (Was it worth it? Doubtful.) White reported the incident to her insurance company and claimed that she received a nasty gash on her head from the sprinkler.

White was hoping that she would receive a large settlement payment and continued workers’ compensation benefits due to her ruse. What she did not count on was her employer’s insurance company growing suspicious about the incident. The insurance company contacted Florida’s Division of Investigative and Forensic Services. After reviewing the security footage, it was determined that White’s wounds were self-inflicted. (She didn’t count on the fact that the cameras were rolling. Heck, she may not have known there were cameras.)

As a result of this unfortunate self-inflicted accident, White was arrested and charged with workers’ compensation fraud. While it may appear as if the only person White hurt in this scheme was herself, workers’ compensation fraud is not a victimless crime and can harm other employees too. (Her pride and reputation were also caught in the crossfire of her crimes.)  

Employers are legally required to obtain workers’ compensation insurance for their employees. When an insurance company is defrauded, it can cause the cost of insurance to rise. (All because a fraudster wanted a quick payday.)

White pleaded guilty to workers’ compensation fraud and was sentenced to 18 months of probation. She will be required to disclose this felony to any potential future employers. (That might make it difficult to obtain a job interview. She has many awkward interviews to come.) White will not be required to pay restitution as she was arrested and charged before she could collect any payouts from her employer’s insurance company. (Well, that’s about the only good thing about this whole incident.)

Today’s Fraud of the Day comes from an article, “‘Injured’ Florida Woman Demands Big Payout, Video Gets Her Arrested,” published by Tap Haps on December 20, 2020.

Americans have insurance to protect them from just about anything that can go wrong. Unsurprisingly, this often attracts some fraudsters who wish to get their hands on unearned compensation by whatever means necessary. This was the case for Sheyla Veronica White.

When White saw a faulty sprinkler head drop from the ceiling onto her desk, she saw an opportunity to collect a big payout. Unfortunately for her, she wasn’t the only one watching her criminal scheme unfold.

 

 

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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.