Fraud funnies: Workers’ comp cheats say the darndest things
By Tony Gottschlich, Public Information Officer, BWC Communications Department
Many of us have read funny reports of the ridiculous excuses criminals give police for their illicit behavior, from, “We’re not stealing; we thought it was free,” to Winona Ryder’s, “I shoplifted to prepare for an acting role.”
Our agents in the Special Investigations Department have heard a few whoppers over the years, too. In honor of International Fraud Awareness Week, here’s a sampling. (Note: Each subject was ultimately convicted and sentenced.)
During surveillance, the claimant suspect would appear to drive as if he knew he was under investigation. He would drive south, north and in circles before going to a job site. During the interview, I asked him if he knew he had been under surveillance. His answer was, “No, I drove that way just in case I was under investigation.”
While wearing boots and standing in wet concrete with a concrete trowel in hand, the claimant suspect stated he was only a “stock holder” in the business.
Upon commencing an interview of the claimant suspect, agents asked him if he was “Joe.” The subject replied, “No.” He was wearing a shirt with his employer’s name and his own name on it. He confessed to his misdeeds.
A doctor was getting increasingly frustrated during an interview when he was trying to explain to Health Care Provider Team agents why he billed BWC for services not rendered. Each time he gave his “explanation,” the agent replied, “So, you billed services that were not provided.” The doctor told the agent he was not listening and again launched into his “explanation.” After the third or fourth round of this conversation, the agent basically restated that the services billed were not provided, but used the same made-up words the doctor had used. The doctor smacked the table and shouted, “By God, now you’ve got it!”
We were conducting an undercover operation in a small village restaurant in Northwest Ohio to document that our subject was working as a waitress. After our subject took our food order, delivered our food and drink, she gave us our check. We paid it, gave her a tip, and showed her our credentials, asking her if she worked there. She immediately froze, stared at the badge while behind the cash register and said, “No, I ain’t workin’ here.” Our agent replied, “We want our tip back.”