Home > News Articles > Cash under the table: The customer as a witness to fraud

Cash under the table: The customer as a witness to fraud

MoneyIt happened again last month: Claimants were convicted of felonies and brought to justice after working for cash under the table while receiving lost time benefits from the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC). They knew they were not entitled to receive those benefits while working.

They thought that by demanding their unsuspecting customers pay them only in cash, they would fly under our radar while eliminating physical evidence of their crime.

Well, that “under the table” biz may seem like a plausible ploy, but it is mere malarkey.

When a contracted laborer requests to be paid in cash (or by check made payable to someone else), the customer should be immediately suspicious. John Q. Public knows by intuition, if not experience, that a cash payment may be a laborer’s attempt to hide from the work performed. By requesting payment in cash the criminal invites, rather than avoids, scrutiny.

Some dubious customers immediately contact BWC. They contact us online, by mail or by calling our fraud hotline at 1-800-644-6292. Other concerned customers may not know to contact us. However, when BWC Special Investigations Department agents approach them, they will be only too glad to tell us what they know. Typically, they even have documents (including written estimates, quotes and business cards), photos and video evidence of the work performed. And they can readily confirm the identity of the subject when shown a photo.

This is how Shannon Rager was convicted and why he was sentenced to 12 months of community control and ordered to pay $2,376 in restitution and $1,000 in investigative costs to the BWC. In our July 9 press release, we reported that “several witnesses confirmed that Rager was working as a tow truck driver and mechanic” during our investigation.

The cash may be under the table, but the customers are not. Their signed statements are compelling evidence in court.

If you are suspicious of any request for cash business transactions in Ohio, please let us know. We will ensure the contracted laborer is not scamming BWC!

For more articles from our blog, please visit ohiobwcfraud.wordpress.com.

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