Just how far will some employees go to get workers’ comp payments?
Here’s a round-up of recent cases which show that people will do some outlandish things to stop working and collect payments meant for people who truly are injured (and that when caught, they face serious consequences):
- Postal worker Jeffrey Gogets of Greensburg, PA, faked a mugging to get workers’ comp. He tossed his wallet and car keys, broke a glass bottle, laid on a walkway and banged on a door to convince people he was mugged. He’s been sentenced to five years of probation and a $5,000 fine, and he must pay back $9,201 he received.
- Postal workers and dogs aren’t supposed to get along, but that obviously wasn’t the case involving former mail carrier Tracey Raponi of Martville, NY. She made false statements about an injury to receive nearly $326,500 in workers’ comp payments. She collected the money while working for her husband’s dog breeding and boarding business. She’s been sentenced to 18 months in federal prison and must pay back all the money.
- Sometimes, workers’ comp cheats get caught doing physical activities such as gardening, home repair or even lifting a child. In this case, a former Los Angeles firefighter had moved on to work as a veteran mixed martial artist (MMA). Raphael Davis pleaded guilty to one felony count of filing a false workers’ comp claim. Prosecutors said Davis filed the false claims while he continued to compete in MMA contests. He still faces sentencing in March 2013, but as part of his plea deal, he has to complete 200 hours of community service before then. He also has to pay $30,000 in restitution. Oh, his MMA record was 12-2.
- Los Angeles probation office Rochelle Williams is charged with filing nine fraudulent workplace injury claims. Authorities claim Williams forged departmental and medical documents, including signatures.
Have any outrageous workers’ comp stories? You can share them with other readers in the comments box below.