Taking the Government for a Ride

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Workers’ compensation is a wonderful benefit for workers who are injured or become ill because of their job. If qualified to get the government benefits, workers receive weekly compensation and medical care paid for by the employer’s insurance carrier as directed by the state’s workers’ compensation board. (Because employers pay for the insurance and workers do not need to contribute to the cost, it is a favorite program for criminals to defraud.) This is the case in today’s ”Fraud of the Day,” which covers the story of a school bus driver who tried to take the government for a ride.

The subject of today’s article was injured while working as a school bus driver. He qualified for and began collecting workers’ compensation benefits. (This is the part where he decided to work another job while earning free money from the government.)

The Ohio Bureau of Worker’s Compensation received an anonymous tip and opened an investigation. The Special Investigations Department reviewed the former school bus driver’s financial institution and employment records and determined that he had been working on and off for about five years while collecting $80,000 in worker’s compensation benefits he did not deserve.

The 57-year-old driver pleaded guilty to one count of workers’ compensation fraud. He is required to serve five years of probation and pay $80,000 in restitution. If he violates his terms of probation, he will have to serve six months in jail. This man’s joy ride has finally ended because his scam ran out of gas.

Source: Today’s ”Fraud of the Day” is based on an article entitled, ”Limo driver takes work comp system for a ride, now owes BWC $80,000,” published by the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation’s Special Investigations Department on February 10, 2017.

A former school bus driver caught working as a limousine driver while receiving injured workers’ benefits must pay the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation $80,000 and serve five years probation.

”Thanks to responsible citizens who report fraud, we were able to stop a workers’ comp cheat and return BWC dollars to their rightful purpose — creating safer workplaces across Ohio and helping workers who are legitimately injured on the job,” said BWC Administrator/CEO Sarah Morrison.

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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.