No doubt about it: There’s workers’ comp fraud out there. But comp cheats do get caught.
New York state recently arrested 13 people on charges they scammed the workers’ comp system. In many cases, those arrested were charged with working side jobs while collecting benefits for injuries they said kept them from working.
How are the cheats uncovered? People who double dip are often discovered in routine insurance company audits. In other cases, co-workers and even relatives have turned them in.
Last year, New York received 1,352 reports of suspected fraud and arrested 119 people.
Some examples of charges from the recent New York round-up:
- Mark Colucci of Hopewell, NY, collected $7,900 in wage replacement benefits while working as a tree service laborer.
- Jennifer Rodriguez of Watervliet, NY, claimed she was unable to walk without a walker, but investigators found she was able to walk unaided.
- Ronald Brown of Binghamton, NY, was collecting temporary total disability benefits while he was performing excavation work.
- Paul Battisti of St. Johnsville, NY, was working as a drywall installer after claiming he was too injured to work.
- Daniel Fauth of Webster, NY, was working at a landscaping business after he claimed he wasn’t working at all.
- Linda Fox of Wayland, NY, collected $10,000 while running her own business. She’s charged with insurance fraud, a felony that carries up to seven years in prison.
Has your company ever caught an employee defrauding the workers’ comp system? Let us know about it in the Comments Box below.