Gone Fishing

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It’s amusing to read stories about fraudsters who get caught in the act. Today’s fraud article, which details the story of a former Bucks County, Pennsylvania corrections officer who took two undercover agents on a fishing expedition, is one of those. While out enjoying a beautiful June day on the Susquehanna River, the fishing guide told the agents that he was out of work due to an on-the-job injury and receiving workers’ compensation benefits. (Unfortunately, the honest guide’s fish tale got him into a bit of hot water.) Read on to learn more about this pending case involving workers’ compensation fraud.

The Bridgeton Township man began receiving workers’ compensation benefits in November 2017 for an injury he incurred at the Bucks County Correctional Facility. In May of this year, the man filed paperwork stating that his physical condition had not changed and claiming that his doctor recommended permanent activity restrictions. (He also stated that he was not employed at any time while receiving the workers’ compensation benefits.)

Fast-forward to the end of June when two Bucks County detectives booked a half-day outing with the former correctional officer. During that fishing trip, the guide reportedly moved about the boat with ease and at some point, leaned over the edge of the boat to help pull in the detectives’ catches. (That didn’t bode well for the fishing guide. And, after telling the detectives he was out of work and receiving workers’ compensation benefits, let’s just say his fish was fried.) He even shared that his business was doing so well, he was booked through the summer.

To add to the stack of evidence mounting, rewind the tape to the beginning of 2018 to where investigators found Facebook posts touting that the Bridgeton Township man was providing guided fishing tours on the Delaware River through a fishing charter service. There were more posts in April that talked about his work as a fishing guide. (A previous workers’ compensation claim was suspended due to these posts.)

There were also the deposits from fishing trips in his bank account. When he was confronted by investigators later, he reported he only made “$100 here or there” which went to pay for gas and equipment. (He had it made – he was basically paid to go fishing.)

 

The 51-year-old man from Bridgeton Township, Pennsylvania was charged with workers’ compensation fraud, theft and unsworn falsification after turning himself in to authorities. It’s hard to tell what will happen in court, but I’m guessing the lure of government benefits will be the reason his fishing guide business sinks.

Today’s “Fraud of the Day” is based on an article entitled, GONE FISHING: Bucks County prison guard charged with workers’ compensation fraud and theft,” published by Bucks Local News on September 12, 2018.

DOYLESTOWN >> A Bucks County corrections officer who took undercover investigators on a paid, guided fishing trip this summer while receiving workers’ compensation has been charged with fraud and theft.

Carl Wayne Stokes, 51, of Bridgeton Township, was arraigned this morning on counts of workers’ compensation fraud, theft and unsworn falsification after turning himself in to authorities.

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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.