In Hot Water

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Hot tubs are great for anyone with sore muscles or chronic pain. According to a Department of Justice press release, the person at the center of today’s ”Fraud of the Day” spent up to 15 hours a day in a hot tub due to an injury she sustained on the job at the U.S Postal Service while collecting more than $400,000 in federal disability benefits. (Now she’s in a bunch of hot water over her bogus claim.)

The story details that the woman claimed to be completely disabled following an accident and regularly reported to her doctor that she was housebound without the ability to much bending, lifting, carrying or sitting. (However, she was able to float around in her hot tub for nearly three-quarters of the day. Talk about being waterlogged.)

Evidence presented at her six-day trial suggested otherwise. Video recordings captured over three years showed her actively working in her yard raking leaves, mowing the lawn, carrying yard debris and repeatedly bending over. (Maybe she was just trying to maintain the area around her hot tub.) Over 15 years, the woman received $429,000 in federal disability benefits.

The 62-year-old woman was convicted on five counts of wire fraud, two counts of workers’ compensation fraud and one count of theft of government money. She faces up to 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000. She will also be ordered to pay restitution to the federal government. (If this woman receives prison time for her illegal acts, she’ll be facing more than just sore back muscles from a lumpy prison cell bunk. Unfortunately, her soothing hot tub will not be accessible to relieve her pain.)

Source: Today’s ”Fraud of the Day” is based on a Department of Justice press release entitled, ”Jury Finds Delmar Woman Guilty of Workers’ Compensation Fraud,” released on June 28, 2016.

ALBANY, NEW YORK – A jury today convicted Carol-Lisa Gutman, age 62, of Delmar, New York, of conducting a 15-year fraud scheme in which she received about $429,000 in federal disability benefits.

The announcement was made by United States Attorney Richard S. Hartunian and Eileen Neff, Special Agent in Charge for the Northeast Area of the United States Postal Service Office of Inspector General.

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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.