It’s All in the Wrist

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From basketball to baseball to tennis, you’ll find that much of your accuracy is based on the control of your wrist. For those athletes who participate regularly in such sports, it is common to see injuries, such as carpal tunnel syndrome, resulting in significant pain in the hand/wrist/arm. Ironically, accused fraudsters have also been known to suffer from the same ailment, according to an Oregon Live article.

For one Portland postal service worker, the daily tasks of delivering mail and packages, from lifting items to operating a vehicle became unbearable. In August 2009, the employee filed a federal workers’ compensation claim, backing it up with supporting documentation from her doctor, which indicated that she had carpal tunnel syndrome in her wrist. (Okay, I can see how that could happen.) The woman claimed she could not participate in numerous functions required for her job, including but not limited to, lifting, carrying, climbing, grasping or driving. In response to her claim, the Department of Labor issued her $31,000 in the year of 2010 to compensate for her inability to work.

Investigators from the U.S. Postal Service’s Office of Inspector General allegedly spotted the woman operating a vehicle multiples time after filing her workers’ compensation claim. Additionally, officials say the woman not only operated her vehicle while having stated her inability to physically do so, but also operated a child care business from April 2009 to May 2011. (If true, that’s concerning. I’m quite sure operating a daycare could require activities, such as grasping things, lifting things, etc.) The woman in question was charged with fraud for allegedly stealing government aid while continuing to work on workers’ compensation.

Let me get this straight – she allegedly operates a daycare, but according to her doctor, her carpal tunnel prevents her from delivering mail. While the facts alleged in the story are troubling, the defendant is innocent until proven guilty. In any case, it looks like she’ll need to work through that carpal tunnel syndrome problem in her wrist. I think she’ll need it to write checks to her lawyer.

Source: Today’s ”Fraud of the Day” is based on an article titled, ”Portland Postal Carrier Charged with Fraud for Taking Workman’s Comp While Running Day-Care,” written by Brian Denson and published by Oregon Live on February 5, 2013.

A Portland U.S. postal carrier was charged Tuesday with fraud for allegedly taking federal disability payments for carpal tunnel syndrome and then operating a child-care facility.

Debbie L. Brown, 52, filed a federal worker compensation claim in August 2009, later documenting it with a report signed by her doctor that said she could not lift, carry, climb, grasp, or drive, among other things, according to a federal indictment.

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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.