Duped

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Fraudsters can be cunning and extremely persuasive. They will say and do just about anything necessary to carry out their ruse, even if it means exploiting a loved one, friend or boss. A man from Lancaster, Ohio fits that bill and used his girlfriend and boss to commit workers’ compensation fraud.

The Ohioan at the center of our fraud case today was collecting injured workers benefits from the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC), while simultaneously working for a heating and air conditioning company for about six months in 2016. The two-timer concealed his employment with the air conditioning company by persuading his employer to issue his paychecks to his girlfriend in her name. (Even though the article states that the fraudster gave his boss a plausible explanation, boy did the boss ever get duped. Did the worker’s request not raise a few red flags in the boss’ mind?)

 The Lancaster, Ohio fraudster pleaded guilty to workers’ compensation fraud. The judge sentenced him to 180 days in jail, but then suspended the jail sentence and ordered five years of probation. (His girlfriend may also face charges for her role in helping her boyfriend defraud the BWC.)

There is one condition to this lesser sentence though, he must maintain employment and pay restitution of $6,879 to the BWC, or he’ll be put behind bars. (Sounds like a great plan, but I bet the boss he duped doesn’t want him as an employee any longer. He may have trouble finding someone to hire him with his new criminal record.)

I imagine that if his girlfriend was not in on the scam, she is also feeling duped. If implicated in this crime, she may end up doing time in some way, shape or form, which will probably change the status of her relationship with her fraudster boyfriend. (Let’s hope the fraudster’s boss and girlfriend both kick him to the curb, a little wiser and with resolve to never be duped again.)

Today’s “Fraud of the Day” is based on an article entitled, Central Ohio man convicted of work comp fraud,” published by Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation on February 16, 2018.

A Lancaster man must pay the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation nearly $7,000 in restitution after pleading guilty to workers’ compensation fraud Monday for a scheme that could land his girlfriend in court as well.

Charles Malone, 43, worked for a heating and air conditioning company for six months in 2016 while simultaneously collecting injured worker benefits from BWC. To hide his employment, he duped his employer into issuing his paychecks to his girlfriend in her name.

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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.