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  Category: Articles » Society & News » Law » Article 2: You Insulted My Equipment!

By Tom Reitze

When a person commits insurance fraud, by claiming to be injured or disabled from a work-related incident when they are not, honest people suffer through higher insurance premiums. It is estimated that 25% of all insurance premiums go to pay for fraudulent claims, just so some bad guys can live the high life and avoid working.

But some are doing something about it. ( sponsored by independent investigators David Morse & Associates, gives information and resources on how to fight insurance fraud. The site also features stories of successful investigations that resulted in the bust of a fraud perpetrator. And when a fraud perpetrator is busted, that helps everyone, because it helps to bring insurance premiums down.

This is a case from the David Morse & Associates investigations archives, Part 2 of the Fraud Chronicles.

What Did You Say About My Overhead Projector?
By Jim Smith,
Deputy Director, David Morse & Associates Investigations

"There was a male claimant who worked in the audio/visual department of a large teaching hospital. For a year this man kept a secret diary of any and all negative comments made by his co-workers regarding the audio/visual equipment used at the hospital.

"After a year of keeping his secret diary of these negative comments, the man filed a 'stress' claim due to the nature of the comments made by his co-workers. He claimed that these negative comments had caused irreparable harm to his psyche, and that as a result he had suffered an inability to work or function in any workplace or common social situation.

"Surveillance was approved on the case, just to see how badly Mr. Audio/Visual's psyche was damaged, and to see if we might find him frequenting any workplaces or social situations.

"Upon conducting surveillance, it was noticed the claimant's vehicle never left the curb in front of his house, and was always there during normal working hours. I then began checking at odd hours, but again the vehicle was always at the residence. Eventually the file was closed, as it appeared Mr. A/V truly was not active.

"Having had my curiosity piqued, and even though the file was closed, I would occasionally go by Mr. A/V's residence just to see if anything new was happening. One day I went by and there was a parking stub under the car's windshield wiper. I checked it and noticed that Mr. A/V had been parking in a lot in downtown LA, at a very early hour.

"I then called and received authorization to reopen the investigation. The next morning at 1 a.m., I began following the claimant into downtown LA. This was a bit dicey, as once we got into the downtown area, ours were literally the only vehicles on the street. I turned off, watched his vehicle until he parked, parked my car, then ran to catch up with him on foot. I grabbed my briefcase off the seat, to at least give me some "cover" as I walked through the streets at this early hour.

"I tailed my subject on foot for several blocks. We ended up going into Parker Center, the Los Angeles Police Department Command Center, right at shift change. I acted as though I belonged, and continued following my subject.

"Ultimately I tailed him to their Photo Lab where he disappeared and, not having access, I ended off.

"Shortly thereafter I was able to learn that Mr. A/V had now become Mr. CSI Photo Man. He had recently gone to work for the LAPD as a crime scene photographer on the graveyard shift, which explained why he had appeared inactive initially.

"Taking a job while receiving disability payments is a greater offense than disparaging overhead projectors, as our claimant and his attorney soon found out."

Another victory for truth, justice, and lower insurance premiums.
About the Author
Tom Reitze is President of David Morse & Associates (, sponsor of ( David Morse & Associates is an independent investigations and claims adjusting company with 45 branches in 15 states.

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  Some other articles by Tom Reitze Fraud Chronicles 12: Hey Mister, Put Down That Tire Iron
Insurance fraud hurts everyone. When someone lies about being disabled, or worse yet, collects disability benefits while going out and getting another job and working, that inflates the cost of ... 3: The Wicked Witch of Insurance Fraud
Appearances can be deceiving. Some older lady may remind you of your grandmother, that is, until she starts filing fraudulent ... Fraud Chronicles 10: Diagnosis Fraud
Occasionally a person gets traumatized in the workplace, and a psychiatrist can't figure out what's wrong with them. But sometimes, it's so simple that it eludes the "professional" with ...

DMA Claims Services Fraud Chronicles 9: Busted on Fairway Five
There's something about the idea of someone living the high life, while out on a fraudulent disability claim, that rankles those of us who have to work for living. In suspicious disability cases, ...

DMA Claims Services Fraud Chronicles 8: Greasy Spoon Film Busts Fraudster
The whole point of Workers Compensation insurance is to pay benefits to people who have been injured on the job, and cannot work. But what if someone is not really injured, ...

David Morse & Associates Fraud Chronicles 7: Perils of Car Maintenance
Insurance fraud is a crime, defined as "when someone knowingly and with intent to defraud, presents or causes to be presented, any ...

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