Coloring Outside the Lines

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Graphic designers create visual concepts using typography, colors, photos and other design techniques. Their job is to capture attention and communicate ideas through advertisements, brochures, magazines, websites or other digital or printed media. Today’s fraudster definitely captured the attention of the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC) by designing a workers’ compensation fraud scheme that involved collecting injured workers’ benefits he did not deserve.

The former Ohioan incurred an on-the-job injury more than 25 years ago. While receiving workers’ compensation benefits over the years, it appears that he was two-timing the BWC. In 2015, investigators discovered that the man was working as a building inspector and a temporary laborer at a mobile home park. (He received around $8,000 from the BWC while employed in those positions in addition to his regular salary.)

Meanwhile, the BWC’s Special Investigations Department (SID) was observing this man’s bank records, emails and additional evidence. It turns out that he was working as a graphic designer for his home-based business in Grand Junction, Colorado. (It seems he was doing more than just deciding between serif and sans serif, using color theory and adding in white space to make his designs more appealing.)

The 50-year-old graphic designer pleaded guilty to workers’ compensation fraud and must serve five years of probation for the first-degree misdemeanor. He must also make restitution of $19,530.

While many creative people are encouraged to figuratively color outside of the lines, this graphic designer’s scheme was foiled by the BWC, which likes to keep things within the margins. (You can’t collect workers’ compensation benefits while gainfully employed.)

No matter how you look at it, this man is going to need a new image after being labeled a fraudster. Congratulations to the BWC for finding an appropriate resolution for this badly designed fraud scheme.

Today’s “Fraud of the Day” is based on a press release entitled, Graphic artist guilty of work comp fraud,” published on March 16, 2018.

A former Ohioan injured on the job in 1991 pleaded guilty to workers’ compensation fraud March 5 after investigators found him working in Colorado while collecting injured workers’ benefits from the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC).

John W. Bezusko, 50, must pay $19,530 in restitution to BWC and serve five years probation for the first-degree misdemeanor, according to his sentence March 5 in a Franklin County courtroom.

 

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Larry Benson
Larry Benson is currently the Director of Strategic Alliances for Revenue Discovery and Recovery at LexisNexis Risk Solutions. In this role, Benson is responsible for developing partnerships for the tax and revenue and child support enforcement verticals. He focuses on embedded companies that have a need for third-party analytics to enhance their current offerings.