Kneading Fraud

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Workers’ compensation claims can cover a wide spectrum of injuries sustained while on-the-job. Sometimes, fraudsters can get creative with their attempts to obtain payments they don’t deserve by making up stories of how they were hurt while at work. An article posted on KBZK.com tells about a Montana woman, who filed a workers’ compensation claim stating that she had injured her arm and shoulder while making pizza at work. (Perhaps she should have added a little water to the recipe to make the kneading a little easier.)

The 51-year-old baker sought medical treatment following her alleged injury and returned to her place of employment. She continued to work in a light-duty capacity until she quit her job approximately two months after she submitted her workers’ compensation claim.

After her departure, it didn’t take long before co-workers reported to the Montana Department of Justice that the former pizza baker was not telling the truth. Apparently, she sustained the injury from tripping over her dog at home. (It’s always the dog’s fault. It’s a well known fact that dogs eat homework, chew up important things and trip their owners on purpose.) As a result of her false claim, the woman received $3,130 in worker compensation benefits.

The former baker pleaded guilty to felony theft of workers’ compensation benefits. She is scheduled for sentencing.

This case is a perfect example of how serious the government takes workers’ compensation fraud. Whether the claim involves a small or large amount of money, fraud will not be tolerated. (The lesson learned here is that it doesn’t matter what type of dough (money or bread) you think you need (or knead), it doesn’t pay to commit fraud.)

Source: Today’s ”Fraud of the Day” is based on an article titled, ”Columbia Falls Woman Found Guilty of Workers’ Compensation Fraud,” posted on KBZK.com on November 16, 2014.

HELENA – A jury in Helena has found a Columbia Falls woman guilty of felony Theft of workers’ compensation benefits paid by Montana State Fund.

Velma Faye Irvin, 51, worked as a baker at the Montana Veterans Home in Columbia Falls, and filed an injury report with Montana State Fund on May of 2013.

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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.