Comp Insurance Fraud Violator Convicted in Utah

April 18, 2003
Blake Winward, a 45 year-old Cache County, Utah, resident, was convicted of workers' compensation insurance fraud, a third-degree felony.

Winward was sentenced to up to five years in the Utah State Prison, but the sentence was suspended. He was also ordered to pay restitution of more than $8,000 to the state's Workers' Compensation Fund (WCF).

In September 2000, Winward sustained a wrist injury while working for an automotive and diesel maintenance and repair shop based in Richmond, Utah. WCF accepted liability on this claim and provided medical and compensation benefits to Winward.

WCF investigators were alerted to potential fraud in April 2002 when a Utah State Employment Security report indicated Winward was receiving wages from Bridgerland Applied Technology Center in Logan, Utah, while still receiving total temporary disability from WCF. Following some research and interviews, WCF's Special Investigations Unit determined Winward had fraudulently obtained lost-time benefits to which he was not entitled.

According to the Utah State Insurance Department's fraud division, workers' compensation fraud costs Utah businesses $34.2 million annually. WCF's Special Investigations Unit helped save Utah businesses approximately $5 million in 2002, while total savings has reached $47.1 million since the unit's inception in late 1992.

About the Author

Sandy Smith

Sandy Smith is the former content director of EHS Today, and is currently the EHSQ content & community lead at Intelex Technologies Inc. She has written about occupational safety and health and environmental issues since 1990.

Sponsored Recommendations

Free Webinar: ISO 45001 – A Commitment to Occupational Health, Safety & Personal Wellness

May 30, 2024
Secure a safer and more productive workplace using proven Management Systems ISO 45001 and ISO 45003.

ISO 45003 – Psychological Health and Safety at Work

May 30, 2024
ISO 45003 offers a comprehensive framework to expand your existing occupational health and safety program, helping you mitigate psychosocial risks and promote overall employee...

DH Pace, national door and dock provider, reduces TRIR and claims with EHS solution

May 29, 2024
Find out how DH Pace moved from paper/email/excel to an EHS platform, changing their culture. They reduced TRIR from 4.8 to 1.46 and improved their ability to bid on and win contracts...

Case Study: Improve TRIR from 4+ to 1 with EHS Solution and Safety Training

May 29, 2024
Safety training and EHS solutions improve TRIR for Complete Mechanical Services, leading to increased business. Moving incidents, training, and other EHS procedures into the digital...

Voice your opinion!

To join the conversation, and become an exclusive member of EHS Today, create an account today!