Paying Respects – Not

hand holding American dollar currency isolated on blurred blackground injured woman with broken hand and green cast on arm, insurance health concept.

When a loved one who collects government benefits dies, the right thing to do is to notify the office that administers the program. (In fact, it’s required.) That’s not to say program administrators won’t be sympathetic to your grief, but even sympathy has its limits. Waiting months or more to report a death – while cashing your loved one’s checks – isn’t just irresponsible, it’s workers’ compensation fraud.

That was the case of a Rochester, N.Y., woman who kept cashing her grandmother’s workers’ compensation checks for nearly a year after she died (Sounds like neither Grandma’s employer nor the state were monitoring her condition).

The 37-year-old granddaughter pleaded guilty to state charges of grand larceny (big-time theft) and agreed to pay full restitution, according to the New York State Inspector General’s office. She is scheduled to be sentenced Jan. 8.

An investigation found that while the grandmother died in November 2015, her granddaughter cashed 23 benefits checks over the next year, amounting to $5,364. The woman pleaded guilty in September. (It won’t be long before she must make up for her disrespectful behavior. I’m sure if Grandma were still alive, she’d be pretty unhappy with her granddaughter’s behavior.)

Today’s Fraud of the Day comes from the article, “Woman Charged With Cashing Grandma’s Comp Checks Pleads Guilty,” published on on Oct. 21, 2019.

A Rochester woman charged with cashing her deceased grandmother’s workers’ compensation checks changed her plea to guilty and has agreed to pay more than $5,300 in restitution.

The New York State Inspector General on Thursday reported that Brandy Sheppard, 37, pleaded guilty to grand larceny and agreed to pay full restitution. Sentencing is set for Jan. 8.



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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.