Hunting is a popular sport throughout the United States.  It takes know-how, skill, and often, physical strength.  Whether you hunt small or large game, your ability to set traps and operate the necessary equipment can make a difference between catching your prey or becoming the prey.  In the mountains of Montana, hunting may be motivation to defraud the government, according to a Missoulian article.

Montana has been hard at work reducing the number of workers’ compensation fraud scams.  The latest Montana resident to be found guilty of workers’ compensation fraud was caught hunting for motivation to return to work after an injury, amongst hunting for big game on his time off.  (Must be a great injury to allow you to skip work, but continue to hunt.) After alleging a shoulder injury occurred on the job, he applied for workers’ compensation benefits and received temporary total disability payments in the amount of $1,252 biweekly.

A few months after his alleged injury occurred, his employer contacted officials to express concern about the validity of the injury, and the employee’s apparent lack of motivation to return to work.  (Is he injured or getting paid to be on vacation! What motivation will bring him back to reality?)Court documents weighed against our resident and he was found guilty of workers’ compensation fraud.  So, what did the evidence look like?  When questioned, a game warden confirmed the fraudster killed four bobcats about two months after he began receiving his workers’ compensation benefits.  Other statements were made against him indicating that he had made comments how his job affected his ability to be a trapping guide.  (Ok, the man kills four bobcats two months after he’s injured, AND makes comments about how his job interferes with his ability to be a trapping guide.  Now, why in the world would anyone be suspicious of workers’ compensation fraud?)His sentencing is set for April, where he will face a maximum of 10 years in prison, $50,000 in fines and repayment of the nearly $6,000 he stole in workers’ compensation benefits.

It looks like the hunter has become the hunted.  While he was busy setting traps and sitting pretty in his camouflage, the government was doing the same with him.  Maybe, he will find jail interesting or at least ironic – he will be caged, just like what happens to some of the animals he liked to hunt.

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