Think Before You Swing and Swindle

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Isn’t it wild that some people would rather risk prison time than face the consequences of their decision-making? The Sacramento Bee reports that a husband and wife attempted to get the government to pay the long-term healthcare costs of a gunshot the man suffered following an altercation at a night club.

According to the report, the man was working as an officer with the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation when he and his wife visited a Los Angeles-area swingers club. A disagreement between them and another couple led to the husband being shot and paralyzed in the parking lot – an injury that they later tried to pass off as an ”on the job” injury, so that they could collect workers’ compensation insurance.

The couple was dishonest from the get-go. First, they told police that they did not know or recognize the shooter, even though their altercation with him began inside the club. (”After a very personal direct interaction.”) After the husband filed a workers’ compensation claim and the wife filed a lien for workers’ compensation benefits based on care of her husband, they testified under oath that they didn’t remember the name of the club where the shooting occurred, nor could they offer a motive. (”It takes two to tango and apparently two to lie under oath.”) The husband then took things a step further and changed his story, to make it seem as though the shooter may have been a parolee with whom he once had contact.

So imagine if this couple succeeded in convincing the government that something as serious as a shooting was ”work related”, when it actually had nothing to do with work? The husband would collect more than $3,000 each month for the rest of his life, and his wife would continue receiving that money after his death. He initially requested a whopping $4 million from the State Compensation Insurance Fund. His wife demanded an additional $271,000 for her services, as his caregiver, and indicated that she may have requested more.

Alas, they were unsuccessful. After both were convicted of multiple felony charges relating to insurance fraud, they were sentenced to 240 days in jail, followed by five years of probation, and ordered to pay $38,206.70 in restitution.

Source: Today’s ”Fraud of the Day” is based on, ”Ex-correctional officer, wife sentenced to jail for insurance fraud,” a report written by Cathy Locke and published by The Sacramento Bee on March 4, 2016.

The charges against Smiley, a former correctional officer with the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, and his wife, Biasi-Smiley, stemmed from their fraudulent workers’ compensation claim that Smiley suffered an ”on duty” injury when he was shot and paralyzed while in San Francisco in April 2008. The claim would have qualified them for compensation from the State Compensation Insurance Fund and the California Public Employees’ Retirement System. The Smileys were previously convicted of attempted perjury in an earlier court proceeding

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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.