In a Hurry

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office desk a stack of computer paper reports work forms.

A Euclid, Ohio woman was in a hurry to commit workers compensation fraud. She was so busy that she couldn’t fit in time for her physical therapy appointments and consequently, her physical therapy provider noticed. (It’s nice to know that there are reputable medical service providers who have their patients’ best interest in mind.) An anonymous tip also helped to slow down this fraudster who was in a hurry to collect workers’ compensation benefits she did not deserve.

While we don’t know the extent of the Euclid woman’s workplace injury, we do know that she was working a side job as a bartender while collecting workers’ compensation benefits. (So, you could conclude that her injuries were not bad enough to prevent her from tending a bar and standing on her feet for long periods of time.)

When the moonlighting bartender failed to show up for her physical therapy sessions and the company contracted by the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC) could not reach the patient, suspicions were raised. An anonymous tip to the BWC that the woman was working at a sports bar in Willowick triggered an investigation. (It’s also nice to know that there are concerned citizens who report fraud.)

The suspected fraudster refused to cooperate with BWC’s investigators, so they contacted her former employer and obtained evidence that proved she should not be receiving workers’ compensation benefits. It behooves an employer to cooperate with an investigation of this type because they pay insurance premiums to cover legitimate injuries, not fake ones. (It can become costly when employees such as today’s fraudster abuse the system, causing insurance premiums to increase. This impacts an employer’s ability to operate in the black and compete in the marketplace.)

The 40-year-old bartender from a suburb of Cleveland, Ohio pleaded guilty to workers compensation fraud and was sentenced to six months in prison. Fortunately, for her, the sentence was suspended for five years of community control. She was also ordered to reimburse the Ohio BWC for $26,578. (That should slow her down for now.)

Today’s “Fraud of the Day” is based on an article entitled, “Euclid woman gets jail time, must pay restitution for Workers’ Comp fraud,” published by The News-Herald on January 8, 2019.

A Euclid woman must reimburse the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation more than $25,000 after pleading guilty to Ohio workers compensation fraud.

According to a news release from agency, the Bureau of Workers’ Compensation learned that Clarice L. Ward, 40, was not attending her physical therapy appointments for her workplace injury and that the BWC-contracted company managing her care couldn’t reach her.

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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.