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Security Guard Goes Down For WC Fraud

Hello, dear readers!

Your humble blogger greets you this Monday morning with some parenting advice: when your children want to rely on a security blanket, teach them early on that security is not a synonym for honesty or trustworthiness.  Don’t actually tell them that, dear readers, this is leading into a story…

Howard William Neel of Oroville in Butte County was recently sentenced to 1 year of jail time and three years of probation, following his felony fraud trial in connection with his workers’ compensation claims.

While working as a security guard, Convict Neel was filling the gas tank of his company vehicle, when a third-party bumped into the car slightly.  Neel claimed he was knocked down, hurting various body parts as his car “spun around.”  He then denied to his employer any related past injuries, even though he had complained to co-workers about back pain just a month prior, and had another workers’ compensation injury to the back about 10 years ago.

Investigators retrieved security footage from the gas station showing that convict Neel was never knocked down, nor did his car spin around.   Subsequent surveillance showed him using a cane to go to his doctors for treatment, and then not using his cane anywhere else, including when working with his horses.

Aside from the jail time and probation, the Gridley Herald reports that convict Neel’s matter has also been set for a restitution hearing in December, where prosecutors will seek an order to have Neil pay some or all of the costs of his claim back to his employer’s insurer.

Your humble blogger, as always, salutes the District Attorney’s office for pursuing this case and finding some small measure of justice for the employer.

Something, early on in this case, sparked a doubt and prompted an investigation of the case.  Security footage from a gas station was obtained; prior claims were researched; and sub rosa video was recorded to build a case.  Not every claim is met with such diligence – although more and more should.

Checking local security footage is a great start, so is carefully timed sub rosa.  Are you checking Facebook? LinkedIn?  Did you create a google alert to send you an e-mail when your injured worker’s name pops up somewhere on the internet?

Just some thoughts for my beloved readers this wonderful Monday Morning.  Chins up, folks, the week is just getting started.

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