Fraud is fraud, and while today's tip is not derived directly from a workers' comp fraud case, its origins are based in alleged employment fraud at a state workers' compensation agency. Two employees of the Ohio Bureau of Workers' Compensation are facing felony charges for allegedly falsifying records in order to use sick time.
The case of a Medical Claims Specialist was originally referred to the Ohio Inspector General by the BWC alleging that she had submitted falsified records to her supervisor to use sick time. It is reported that the Inspector General's Office “worked collaboratively with the OBWC Special Investigations Department. The Inspector General's investigators subpoenaed physician visitation records and conducted interviews with physicians.”
According to the Norwalk Reflector, Investigators determined that the specialist “submitted to her supervisor physician verification forms (PVF) with forged physician signatures on 10 occasions in order to use sick time. Investigators also examined [her] computer and discovered a file identified as “dr_note” that was used to create several PVFs with forged physician signatures that had been submitted by [her].”
In hindsight, leaving that scanned image of a forged doctors note on her computer seems downright silly. I bet she's second guessing that move now. Probably should have named that file “Anthony_Weiner_pic.” They never would've opened it.
During the initial investigation, it was discovered that a second employee, a Medical Claims Supervisor, had essentially committed the same offense. I'm not sure how they came about that information, other than perhaps a cornered employee blurting out, “So what? My boss does it too!” I must admit that is pure speculation on my part, as we don't even know if the supervisor in question oversaw the original suspect in this case.
The Reflector reports that the second investigation was directed at a supervisor with the ironic last name of “McLuckie.” It is said that “investigators were notified that a second OBWC employee…. was also submitting PVFs with forged physician signatures. Investigators subpoenaed and evaluated records from medical providers and determined that McLuckie submitted to her supervisor 10 PVFs with forged physician signatures in order to use sick time. Investigators also examined McLuckie's work area and discovered a folder containing several versions of PVFs from three medical providers.
The investigators report was referred to the Franklin County Prosecutor's Office. On February 13, 2019, both women were each indicted by a Franklin County grand jury for one count of theft in office and three counts of forgery.
If convicted, it sounds like someone just ran out of McLuckie.
Clearly the fraud tip here is don't leave incriminating evidence to your (alleged) crimes sitting around your cubicle or on your computer. Invest in a shredder, for God's sake. Get some BleachBit. It worked for Hillary, it could certainly do the same for someone (allegedly) scamming their employer out of some undeserved sick time.
Anyway, that is your advice for the day. I write this as I am sitting in an airport in Dallas, TX, awaiting a delayed flight home. That gives me a second tip for the day. Never type “Anthony_Weiner_pic” when working in a crowded terminal. I have to go now. I have some splainin' to do.
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Robert Wilson is President & CEO of WorkersCompensation.com, and "From Bob's Cluttered Desk" comes his (often incoherent) thoughts, ramblings, observations and rants - often on workers' comp or employment issues, but occasionally not.
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