Mistaken Identity


Mistaken identity is a criminal law defense which claims the criminal defendant is innocent because the eyewitness to the crime incorrectly identified the defendant. Today’s fraud case involves a man who was caught scamming the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC). He lied about his participation in the theft of more than $22,000 in workers’ compensation benefits by blaming it on his cousin.

The BWC’s Special Investigations Department discovered that the man who tried to lie his way out of workers’ compensation fraud was working as a truck driver at the same time he was collecting benefits. (His name popped up in a state database that showed his tractor-trailer had been pulled over by the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio for an inspection.)

When confronted by investigators, the man claimed that it was a case of mistaken identity. He explained that because his cousin had needed a job, he loaned his commercial driver’s license to him and that’s who was stopped for inspection. (His explanation is plausible because cousins can definitely look alike, but he was just lying to cover up his crime.) The defendant ran in to a bit of trouble when his cousin did not validate his story. Neither did the trucking company or its employment records.

The 40-year-old trucker was ordered to reimburse the BWC $22,578. He must pay $1,000 of that amount within six months or he will spend six months in jail.

The BWC’s mission is to take care of injured workers and increase workplace safety within the state of Ohio, not provide a free ride for this trucker who was already earning an income. (My guess is that family gatherings will be a bit tense in the future.)

Source: Today’s “Fraud of the Day” is based on an article entitled, Man’s claim of mistaken identity fools no one; ordered to pay $22K to BWCpublished by the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation on March 3, 2017.

A Knox County man caught scamming the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC) and trying to lie his way out of it was ordered to reimburse the agency $22,578 Tuesday and to pay $1,000 of it within six months or spend six months in jail.

“If we’re knocking on your door with a fraud allegation, lying won’t help your case,” said BWC Administrator/CEO Sarah Morrison. “We are determined to stop fraud when we find it and to return any ill-gotten resources to their rightful purpose — taking care of injured workers and increasing workplace safety in this state.”




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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.