Stuck in the Middle

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A teacher’s job can be difficult, yet rewarding at the same time. Teaching middle school can be particularly frustrating as educators not only have to teach more difficult subjects and concepts, but also help their pupils navigate adolescence. A story posted on NJ.com follows a middle school teacher who found his profession to be very rewarding. (Apparently, he was able to steal nearly $250,000 in disability payments from one New Jersey school district, while teaching middle school in another state.)

The article states that approximately 12 years ago, the teacher claimed he could no longer work because of ”prolonged stress and chronic back pain.” (It’s not clear if the prolonged stress was due to teaching teenagers or a result of a back injury.) After his disability application was approved, he worked as a substitute teacher in West Virginia and the following year, he became a full-time teacher in Virginia. (This guy gets around.)

The 59-year-old former teacher pleaded guilty to theft by deception. (I’d say he was definitely deceptive.) His plea deal requires him to repay $248,960 in restitution. He is permanently barred from public employment in New Jersey. Prosecutors are recommending three years in prison.

Just as the middle school years can be awkward for teenagers, this teacher’s predicament is a bit awkward as well. He did not set a good example for his pupils and is now stuck in the middle between the judge and a possible prison sentence. It looks like this fraudster has learned his lesson the hard way.

Source: Today’s ”Fraud of the Day” is based on an article titled, ”Ex-N.J. Teacher Admits Stealing $249K in Disability While Working in Virginia,” written by Christopher Baxter and posted on NJ.com on February 3, 2015.

TRENTON — A former Piscataway teacher pleaded guilty today to collecting $249,000 in disability retirement benefits from New Jersey by claiming he could no longer work because of stress and back pain, when in fact he was working as a teacher in Virginia, state authorities said.

John Brishcar, 59, of Front Royal, Va., admitted he received the money after claiming in 2003 he could no longer work as a middle school teacher for the Piscataway School District due to “prolonged stress and chronic back pain,” the Attorney General’s Office said.

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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.