Officials call it “among the more brazen attempts to exaggerate an injury” in a workers’ compensation case. Now the woman who committed fraud is in prison. Surveillance video uncovered the fraud.
Robin Hammond, a former nurse’s aide in Ohio, pleaded guilty to one felony count of workers’ compensation fraud and was sentenced to one year in prison.
Her husband pleaded guilty to one felony count of complicity and received five years of community control.
The couple must repay $173,000.
Hammond claimed a workplace injury left her unable to use her arms and legs and she didn’t have fine motor skills in her hands and feet.
She was granted permanent total disability, and the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC) paid for special medical equipment, including an electric wheelchair and vehicle lift, a hospital bed, and a lift to help with sitting and standing.
But someone tipped off BWC that Hammond was not as injured as she claimed to be and was engaged in physical activity.
BWC’s Special Investigation Department conducted surveillance on Hammond and her husband for 10 months, gathering hours of video showing she had full use of all four of her limbs.
Video also showed her husband helping her into a wheelchair on several occasions before entering the doctor’s office and then walking with her when she doesn’t appear to have any injury.
The video showed Hammond entering doctor’s appointments in a wheelchair but walking out without assistance.
After investigators interviewed Hammond, the couple fled Ohio to Utah. They didn’t respond to repeated requests to attend a hearing. A nationwide warrant was issued for their arrest. After being located in Utah, they were extradited back to Ohio.
The Ohio Industrial Commission found all of Hammond’s injury awards were overpaid dating back to February 2007.
Officials say Hammond was able to fool many people including family, friends and doctors.