Off-road motorcycling or motocross is a popular sports activity enjoyed by millions of people around the world. It’s also a sport rife with injury to collar bones, wrists, joints in general, knees and ankles. Today’s fraudster enjoyed cross-country motorcycling at a track in Bozeman, Montana, then blamed a knee injury he sustained there on an on-the-job injury. His bogus claim enabled him to commit workers compensation fraud and collect benefits he did not qualify for.
It’s important to know that the fraudster at the center of today’s case worked for the Montana Department of Transportation. (A government employee who defrauded the government agency where he worked.) He claimed that he had injured his right knee by jumping out of a truck while working. (Perhaps it was moving? Maybe it was really high off of the ground. Even though he was only 34, it was probably not a good idea to just jump.)
After submitting his application to receive workers’ compensation benefits, he was examined by a doctor who concluded that he could not return to work due to his job-related injury. It wasn’t long before the Montana State Fund received a tip on its fraud hotline stating that the man actually injured himself while riding his motorcycle at a Bozeman racetrack. According to court documents, the man had purchased his girlfriend a new motorcycle the day after he purportedly injured his knee on-the-job and visited the motocross track with two motorcycles in the back of his truck. (Witnesses at the track confirmed that he was in significant pain after injuring his knee at the track.)
The outlaw biker pleaded guilty to fraudulently obtaining workers’ compensation benefits from his employer for a knee injury he did not incur while working for the Montana Department of Transportation. He pleaded guilty to workers’ compensation fraud. He was subsequently ordered to pay a $3,000 fine and was given a three-year deferred sentence as long as he complies with court orders.
There should be a special punishment for government employees who defraud the agency who writes them a paycheck and provides them with undeserved workers’ compensation benefits. Workers’ compensation benefits are intended to help those who have honestly declared that they have a work-related injury and have proof to back it up. What is redeeming about this story is that an honest and vigilant Montana citizen reported the false claims to authorities. The information they provided enabled the state government to track down this offender and preserve workers’ compensation benefits for those who truly need assistance with medical expenses and lost wages.
Today’s “Fraud of the Day” is based on an article entitled, “State employee pleads guilty to worker’s comp fraud” posted on KTVH.com on July 3, 2017.
BILLINGS – A former state employee recently pleaded guilty to attempting to fraudulently obtaining workers’ compensation from his employer for a knee injury that he did not actually receive on the job.
Boone Block, 34, of Clyde Park pleaded guilty in Montana District Court in Helena in late June to one count of making a false claim to public agency, which is a felony offense.