Americans have insurance to cover almost everything that may go wrong. Unsurprisingly, this often draws certain scammers looking to get undeserved money by whatever means necessary. Sheyla Veronica White was in this situation.
White spotted a chance to collect a large reward when a malfunctioning sprinkler head fell from the ceiling onto her desk. Sadly for her, she wasn’t the only one who was seeing her illegal strategy come to fruition.
Sheyla Veronica White was working on her computer at a desk job in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, when a sprinkler head fell from the ceiling and landed only feet away. She was taken aback by the situation, groping for the metal fixture and glancing up to see where it had fallen.
But, White’s surprise swiftly evolved into an “ah-ha” moment when she realized she could exploit the event. In order to create a workplace accident, she grabbed up the sprinkler and whacked herself in the head with it, causing a big cut.
White submitted an incident report with her insurance company, attempting to cash in on a workers’ compensation claim. Within a few weeks, it seemed that she would soon be collecting a sizable payment for her fraudulent attempts. That is, until detectives examined the security camera video.
Rather than obtain financial compensation, White was arrested and charged with third-degree felony workers’ compensation fraud. Ironically, White hardly had time to heal from her self-inflicted injuries before the Broward County Sheriff’s Office dragged her away in handcuffs and photographed her for her mugshot.
White received an 18-month probation term for her offense. Fortunately, she did not have to pay restitution since she was arrested before she could receive any compensation from her insurance company.
White was revealed after her employer’s insurance company became suspicious about the event and alerted Florida’s Division of Investigative and Forensic Services. Detectives subsequently discovered security camera video, confirming that White had fabricated the injuries.
LT. Doreen Rivera said that, although this crime seems to have no victims, it is the abuse that harms other workers. Employees are legally compelled to purchase workers’ compensation insurance, and false claims cause their coverage costs to rise.
Employees aren’t the only ones who take advantage of insurance providers. In reality, firms often lie about the number of people they employ or pay a fee to “shell companies” in order to take advantage of their workers’ compensation insurance rather than acquiring their own for their employees.
When an insurance firm is cheated, the expense is passed on to companies, workers, and, ultimately, customers. Unfortunately, everyone else pays the price for these frauds, which raise the cost of items and insurance. In these instances, the only winners are the scammers who do not get detected.
Worryingly, White is only one of several con artists that try to profit from a fake claim at the cost of everyone else. Luckily, the only punishment she’ll face is a felony on her record, alerting potential employers to the dangers of employing her.