Workman’s compensation exists to cover people’s medical bills should they be injured while on the job.
However, there are always individuals who will try to abuse the system. Here are six workman’s compensation fraudsters who got caught—hilariously:
Beauty Is Only Skin Deep
22-year-old Shawna Lynn Palmer claimed she was unable to work due to a foot injury so severe that she couldn't put any weight on her foot or wear any type of shoe. Shortly after, she was spotted in a YouTube video participating in a beauty pageant. She was prancing about on stage while wearing—you guessed it—high heels.
You Mean Skydiving Is NOT Physical Therapy?
Donald, who worked for a Santa Clara construction company, claimed a workplace injury that caused excruciating pain in his left arm to the point where even driving was impossible. Video surveillance from investigators showed Donald not only using his arm to drive without any issues but also repeatedly skydiving. Maybe he just felt his arms were not sufficiently involved in the sport?
The Half-Baked Lie
Michelle Buggs, a baker and cake decorator in New York, was found guilty of workman’s compensation fraud and several other felonies when she claimed she injured her right hand while helping a customer up from the floor. She received more than $69,000 in compensation payments. Soon after, Buggs was caught filing incorporation for her new restaurant "It'z All 4U" which was also featured in a local newspaper. Further surveillance showed her using her right hand to cook, bake, serve customers, and make deliveries. Buggs faces up to 5 to 15 years in prison for her deception. Surely, just quitting would have been much easier?
A Roofer In Over His Head
After receiving compensation benefits for a work-related injury, Daniel Uribes was sentenced to jail after private investigators captured him on video—not only working on a roofing job, but leaving it halfway through so he could attend his workman’s compensation hearing, and later on returning to finish the job!
Mummy’s Bad Bad Boy
Due to an on-the-job accident, former bus driver Bruce Gilbert started acting like a 5-year-old child. His wife attributed it to a regressive mental ailment, and the Gilbert collected $774,000 in workman’s compensation over ten years. When asked about his favorite food, Bruce would respond with pizza and spaghetti in a kiddy voice. However, private investigators soon found that Bruce not only still drove a car but also hunted and played golf. When police arrested him on the golf course, Bruce kept up his baby talk even after being cuffed.
“They're hurting me,” he claimed. “Mommy—my mommy.”
Come On Down!
Most people have called in sick when they were perfectly fine and just wanted the day off. But how many would be so brazen as to show up on national television? That’s exactly what former postal worker Cathy did when she was receiving workman’s compensation benefits for being injured on the job. She claimed a shoulder injury that prevented her from lifting mail trays into a postal truck, only to appear on the game show The Price is Right where she used her whole upper body (shoulders included) to spin the show’s famous big wheel twice. Inevitably, deception took her for a spin...