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WHEN THE SCALES OF JUSTICE ARE WOEFULLY UNBALANCED
A retired-after-31-years-in-the-National- Guard-reservist is going to have three and a half years behind bars to think about how easy it was to first forge a death certificate for her husband and submit it to Servicemembers’ Group Life Insurance, for which she received $835,218 in benefits, and then to follow it up two years later with her own forged death certificate and another $400,000 in death benefits. And that didn’t even count the $204,192 she got from Lincoln Financial Group in a similar death-certificate forging scheme. The money’s gone. Almost a million and a half bucks ==> 3-1/2 years to write her memoirs. Do the math … $400,000 a year.
It’s not necessarily unusual for an injured worker to walk into an ER, report a workplace soft tissue injury, and walk out of the ER with pain medication. What made it unusual, at least in the case of a Washington resident, was that he went to 12 different Seattle hospitals a total of 53 times. Same M.O. Pain meds. Anybody want to do the math on what this cost our “system?” When sentenced, this guy received a total 45-day jail sentence.
What started out as a light sentence — got even lighter. A San Mateo, California, business owner was convicted of underreporting more than $10 million in payroll — a scam that cost the workers’ compensation system an estimated $3 million in premiums. She was sentenced to one year in the women’s jail. However, lest her three small children be without the physical presence of their mother, the court is allowing “home detention.” Oh, she also gets five years of “supervised probation,” interestingly the same amount of time that the intentional fraud was carried out.
An Ohio couple convinced the workers’ compensation system that the Mrs. was severely disabled by a workplace shoulder injury, one which resulted in reflex sympathetic dystrophy and confinement to a wheelchair because she couldn’t use her arms or legs. When no one was watching, however, she could walk, move all her limbs, climb stairs, carry groceries and drive. Surveillance videos proved it beyond a doubt. When confronted about the theft of $173,322 from the state, the couple fled. A nationwide search warrant was issued and the couple was found in Utah and extradited to face charges. The Mrs. got 12 months with the possibility of release in six, and the Mr. received 5 years of “community control.”
Perhaps the grand prize of all was a sentence of 240 days worth of electronic monitoring for a former LA County sheriff’s deputy who single-handedly cost California’s workers comp system $10 million in unpaid premiums. He owned a large company that provided security for both privately owned companies and government. The Statue of Liberty was among its clients! A staggering 2,700 workers were employed in California alone; however, insurance was paid on just 20 workers at a separately named small company. It was a solution alright, a solution to avoid ten million bucks in owed premiums, hiding workers in a shell company. That dodge lowered his comp premiums by $10 million. His sentence when convicted? A mild 240 days of electronic monitoring, and restitution will be decided later.
Meanwhile … a Missouri man is serving a 15-year jail sentence for possession of crack cocaine. It was such a small amount that it was deemed “unweighable,” yet when Paris Hilton was caught with .8 grams of cocaine, she was sentenced to only community service. …a 17-year-old high school football player is serving a 10-year prison sentence for allowing a consenting 15-year old girl to perform oral sex on him.
… and in New York, a court spectator was charged with contempt of court for yawning during his cousin’s sentencing hearing and was given a 6-month jail sentence.
“When it costs more to yawn than it does to steal $3 million dollars from a system or defraud 53 hospitals to get drugs, something is broken.”