Bloomington, MN – An SFM claimant who submitted forged timecards to receive temporary partial disability payments was ordered to pay SFM $96,579 in restitution to cover the fraudulently received benefits, as well as legal and surveillance expenses at his criminal sentencing hearing on Monday, February 23.
Gregory W. Binman, 60, pleaded guilty in Washington County District Court to felony forgery. In addition to the restitution, he was sentenced to 90 days in jail and three years of probation.
The conviction came as a result of persistence from a number of SFM employees who chose to pursue the case even after an Office of Administrative Hearings judge ordered the company to continue paying benefits.
“SFM aggressively pursues fraud cases for the good of our policyholders and the system as a whole,” said SFM Subrogation and Special Investigations Unit Manager Christina Sandilla. “We’re thankful that justice ultimately prevailed in this case.”
Binman was injured while working as a carpenter in 2006. The fraud began when he started collecting temporary partial disability payments in May of 2009.
He claimed to be working for a friend’s business for 10-12 hours per week, so he qualified for temporary partial disability wage loss benefits.
SFM attempted to stop paying him benefits in 2012 because he was not cooperating with job search efforts nor turning in pay stubs; however, an Office of Administrative Hearings judge ordered them to continue.
SFM’s special investigations unit continued to investigate, finding inconsistencies in the signatures on his time cards and questions over the existence of the business he claimed to work for.
The company then turned over its findings to a police investigator at the Minnesota Department of Commerce Fraud Division, who agreed to prepare the case for the Washington County Attorney’s Office, which ultimately led to Binman’s conviction.
“Workers’ compensation fraud hurts all employers and employees, and shouldn’t be taken lightly,” Sandilla said. “We’re thankful to see that in this instance everyone was able to work together to ensure it didn’t continue.”