Whack a Fraudster

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Have you ever stood up fast and whacked your head on something? (It hurts.) A roofing company service technician who hit his head on a support joist at a construction site, injured his neck and subsequently collected more than $12,000 from the Washington State Department of Labor & Industries (L&I) in workers’ compensation benefits. (Somewhere along the way he lost his smarts and moonlighted while receiving government checks he did not deserve. A definite faux pas.)

The injured worker filed a workers’ compensation claim and his medical providers did verify that he had head and neck injuries that legitimately prevented him from working full time. The man declared on official L&I forms that he was unable to work and was not employed because of his on-the-job injury. (Well, that was not exactly true.)

Although he claimed he was too injured to work, he was busy being gainfully employed as a tow truck driver for a used car dealership in Seattle for nine months. (Not exactly a job where someone with a neck injury should work.)

The former roof technician pleaded guilty to a felony, second-degree theft. The 30-year-old was sentenced to 20 days in jail, but got off with 160 hours of community service instead. He will also repay the State of Washington $12,585 or the amount of disability benefits he wrongly collected.

While this man may have legitimately whacked his head and injured his neck, it doesn’t give him the right to steal benefits from the businesses and employees who support the workers’ compensation system. Congratulations to the government who caught him and whacked him back with a punishment that should get his attention. (Let’s hope that this man will get smart and not commit another crime.)

Source: Today’s ”Fraud of the Day” is based on an article entitled, ”South King County man ordered to repay more than $12,000 in workers’ comp scam,” posted by the Washington State Department of Labor & Industries on lni.wa.gov on February 10, 2017.

Seattle – A service technician who claimed he was too injured to work yet got a job driving a tow truck pleaded guilty Friday in a workers’ comp scam.

Kyle Valle, 30, of Algona, pleaded guilty to felony, second-degree theft. King County Superior Court Judge Hollis R. Hill sentenced Valle to 20 days in jail, but allowed the jail time to be converted to 160 hours of community service. Hill also ordered Valle to repay the state $12,585, the amount of disability benefits he wrongfully received.

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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.