Austin, TX – Texas Mutual Insurance Company recently reported that a Travis County district court sentenced Michael Shane Schmidt of Mineral Wells, Texas, on workers’ compensation fraud-related charges. The court sentenced Schmidt to one year of deferred adjudication and ordered him to pay $2,649 in restitution to Texas Mutual.
Schmidt reported a job-related injury while working as a truck driver for E.L. Farmer and Company in Odessa, Texas. He claimed he was unable to work as a result of the injury, and Texas Mutual began paying income benefits to him.
Texas Mutual uncovered evidence that Schmidt was working as a truck driver for another company while receiving income benefits due to his alleged disability.
Investigators call this type of scam double-dipping because the claimant collects benefits for being too injured to work when he or she is, in fact, gainfully employed. Texas law requires claimants to contact their workers’ comp carrier when they return to work. Left unchecked, double-dipping and other workers’ comp fraud can lead to higher premiums for all Texas employers.
Note – A grand jury indictment is an accusation, not a conviction, of criminal conduct.
Source: Texas Mutual/ECPR