If you’ve ever been to a gym, I’m sure you’ve noticed the breakdown of gym-goers.  For one, you have the weightlifters, usually with big muscles and egos to match.  Second, you’ll find the busy moms, multitasking on a treadmill or stair-master while reading and texting.  According to an article in Business Insurance, you may also see the occasional fraudster, claiming they are unable to work based on physical ailments, while still making time to lift weights.  Wait a minute…

The article reports that an Ohio resident was found to have bilked the federal government out of more than $30,000 – all while making time to work on his physique.  According to the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation, the individual filed for workers’ compensation based on the fact he couldn’t lift over 10lbs.  (The sad thing is, there are people who actually NEED this. This man just found an easy out.)  The fraudster claimed he had been looking for a job, but couldn’t find one meeting his physical demands.  The court found that hard to believe once evidence started to roll in.

Someone – perhaps a fellow gym-goer (clearly not his spotter) – caught the defendant on candid camera and sent a video to investigators showing the fraudster bench-pressing 500 pounds.  (So this is literally 50 times the amount of weight he claimed to be able to lift.)  Not only did the man lift the weight once, but worked out in a similar lifting fashion, using similar amounts of weight for a month-long period during the time he claimed workers’ compensation.  The fraudster pleaded guilty and was sentenced to nine months in jail, which was suspended in favor of three years of probation.  He was ordered to maintain employment (join the club, buddy) and to pay restitution in the amount of $32,000.

You have to be careful with your gym buddies – you never know when one might call you out on your workers’ compensation fraud.  My question is how did that person who filmed the fraudster know he was committing fraud?  Was it all in gym ego talk?  Regardless, it looks like our fraudster dropped a weight on his plan.

  1. I am new to investigations and I’m noticing that many fraudsters have to “brag” about their fraud to others. Whether it is lack of self pride, insecurity or entitlement, it obvious that something’s missing in their lives. Often times, ex-paramours and neighbors and in this case, gym “buddies” are the source of most referrals.

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