A Minnesota woman is now on the run from authorities after pulling out all the stops during an attempted workers’ compensation scam.
Kathleen Grace Saunders, 53, of New Ulm, has been charged with felony forgery and gross misdemeanor insurance fraud for her role in the attempted swindle. According to the police, Sanders reported that she was injured in a car accident while working for Rural Computer Consultants Inc. Saunders claimed that she suffered six broken ribs in the accident and missed some days of work after the alleged incident.
Upon returning to work, Saunders filed a claim for $600 in workers’ compensation from her employer’s insurance provider. Saunders went as far as to forge a police report supposedly written by the Carver County Sheriff lieutenant and submitting an x-ray photo detailing her six broken ribs.
The Truth Comes Out
Despite her insistence that she was telling the truth, her employer decided to do a little more investigation. A review of Saunders’ work computer found that she had made Internet searches for accident reports and the Carver County sheriff staff, and a reverse image search found that the x-ray image she had submitted was a publically available image originally sourced to a bicycle accident in England.
The employer also contacted local police who said they never received a call about the traffic accident or responded to a traffic accident at the reported location on the day of the alleged incident. One final nail in Saunders’ coffin was that the witness who was supposedly driving at the time of the crash said the accident never took place.
After a review of the evidence, Saunders’ employer terminated her employment. Police issued charges for her arrest, but she reportedly moved to Illinois before she could be apprehended. She is believed to be living in Illinois under an alias. Her known aliases include Carol Holcomb, Kathy Neese and Kathleen Holcomb-Sanders.
Although she wasn’t very good at pulling the ruse, it’s easy to see how much background checking goes into a workers’ compensation claim, and that was before the claim ever made it to the insurance company. If you are legitimately hurt, workers’ compensation can help provide you with income while you get back on your feet, but if you’re just looking for a quick payday, you could wind up in handcuffs.
If you or someone you know needs assistance with their legitimate workers’ compensation claim here in Minnesota, reach out to the experienced legal team at Margolis Law Firm.