It All Adds Up

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New York state law requires employers to maintain Workers’ Compensation insurance coverage for their employees. While receiving benefits, employees are also expected to tell the truth about their work activity, or lack thereof, to insurance carriers and the Workers’ Compensation Board. (Sounds easy enough doesn’t it?) A Yonkers woman decided she would not hold up her end of the deal and got a second job while receiving Workers’ Compensation benefits.

The woman originally injured herself when she fell down the stairs at a clothing retailer where she was employed. She qualified for and began receiving benefits. Four months following the accident she testified before the New York State Workers’ Compensation Board that she had not worked since her accident. (Investigators discovered that she had actually been working as a bartender while claiming to not be working at all.)

The 38-year-old woman pleaded guilty to petit larceny, a misdemeanor, and stealing $6,469 in Workers’ Compensation benefits she didn’t deserve. As part of a plea agreement, she will pay the state back for the benefits she received. Her sentencing is scheduled.

This woman may have thought that collecting a few bucks from the government was not a big deal, but when lots of people think they are entitled to government benefits when they don’t deserve them, it all adds up and everyone suffers. Workers’ Compensation fraud impacts everyone in terms of increased insurance premiums for employers, bigger workloads for coworkers and a reduction in workforce productivity. Let’s hope the judge will sum up this case and provide an appropriate sentence that will prevent others from doing the same thing.

Source: Today’s ”Fraud of the Day” is based on a Department of Justice press release entitled, ”Yonkers Woman Pleads Guilty to $6,500 Workers’ Comp Fraud,” published on WorkersCompensation.com on December 13, 2016.

Albany, NY (WorkersCompensation.com) – New York State Inspector General Catherine Leahy Scott today announced the guilty plea of a Yonkers woman for stealing nearly $6,500 in Workers’ Compensation benefits to which she was not entitled.

Diane Lares, 38, of Woodworth Avenue, Yonkers, pleaded guilty in Yonkers City Court today to petit larceny, a misdemeanor. As part of the plea, Lares is expected to pay back $6,469 in Workers’ Compensation benefits she received but to which she was not entitled.

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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.