A Travis County court sentenced Melody Tendayi of Austin, Texas, on workers’ compensation fraud-related charges, Texas Mutual Insurance Company reported earlier this week.
The court sentenced Tendayi to five years’ deferred adjudication and 150 community service hours. It also ordered her to pay $6,020 in restitution to Texas Mutual.
Tendayi reported a job-related injury while working as a youth care worker for Lifeworks/Youth & Family Alliance in Austin. She claimed she was unable to work as a result of the injury, and Texas Mutual began paying income benefits to her.
Subsequently, Texas Mutual uncovered evidence that Tendayi was working as a temporary worker for a staffing service while receiving income benefits.
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.
Source: Texas Mutual Insurance Company
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