H&W Saves Client Nearly $60,000 With Fraud Finding and Permanent Bar on Indemnity
Our associate, Victoria Hahn, obtained a WCL §114-a (fraud) finding and secured a permanent disqualification of the claimant's indemnity benefits for our client in a particularly tricky claim that was decided a few weeks ago. The claimant in this case had been out of work since the date of accident in March 2020. Our client's investigator was able to get some limited evidence of the claimant's work activity: a few photos and a 10 second video from an informant showing the claimant working as a carpenter at a job site. During testimony, the claimant alleged that he was just "helping a friend." Unfortunately, the informant was murdered before trial in an unrelated incident, leaving Tori without much of a case.
Undeterred, she subpoenaed the claimant's bank records, which showed large deposits into a business account in the claimant's name, with the claimant listed as the sole signer and authorized user. These records were critical as they proved that the claimant was engaged in substantial work activity while collecting workers' compensation benefits. The Law Judge felt that the video surveillance and photographs were insufficient on their own to establish a fraud finding. However, the Judge found that the bank records completely discredited the claimant's testimony and that the only logical conclusion regarding the deposits noted in the bank records were that they were for services performed by the claimant on behalf of his business.
Given the classification with a permanent partial disability and a 33% loss of wage earning capacity Tori's efforts saved our client nearly $60,000 in workers' compensation payments. For any questions about this case, please contact Tori and if you have a fraud case you would like to us to review, please contact us.