It’s difficult to estimate how much waste, fraud and abuse exist in our federal government. In 2015, one estimate said federal agencies reported over $136 billion in improper payments – but the actual total is likely to be higher because that’s only what was actually reported.
With a federal government that spends three trillion dollars a year, sadly a few billion is little more than a rounding error. And that’s just at the federal level. There’s plenty of monkey business at the state level as well.
Scam artists exist in every facet of our society, and one Florida woman got the bright idea to maybe get a piece of the pie for herself.
Sitting in her cubicle one day, Cinque Terre Energy Partners employee Sheyla White was surprised when a fire sprinkler head dropped from the ceiling onto her desk.
Then she got a bright idea. Hey, maybe she could stage an injury and sue the company for workers compensation. She looked around, made sure no one was watching, and then whacked herself in the forehead with the sprinkler.
There’s only one problem. She forgot about the surveillance camera, which captured the entire caper.
— WSVN 7 News (@wsvn) May 2, 2017
While her employer filed the worker’s compensation claim for the injury, the firm’s insurance company grew suspicious and asked Florida’s Division of Investigative and Forensic Services to investigate, according to a statement from the state’s chief financial officer, Jeff Atwater.
While the sprinkler head did fall on her desk, it did not bounce up and strike her as White alleged. Instead, the security footage showed White picking up the object and looking at it before striking herself in the head with it.
She was arrested, convicted and sentenced to 18 months of probation, avoiding the maximum sentence of five years in prison.
Under the name Sheyla Diaz, White was previously arrested in 2010 for stealing students’ personal identification information while working as a teacher in Ft. Lauderdale, according to Atwater’s statement.
Fortunately for taxpayers, White’s little scheme failed miserably. Unfortunately for us, millions of other schemes succeed.
And further, there seems to be little interest in Congress to make meaningful cuts and changes in the size and scope of the federal government.