A North Carolina postal service worker was arrested after an appearance on popular, TV game show “The Price Is Right.” Why, you wonder? What’s so wrong with playing Plinko, shaking hands with Drew Carey, and giving a shout out to friends and family? Nothing — just so long as your time in the spotlight doesn’t blow the cover off of your workers compensation scam.
According to federal investigators, Cathy Wrench Cashwell intentionally lied in her workers comp filing from September 2011, claiming that a work-related injury from 2004 made her unable to perform the strenuous physical duties of a mail carrier.
However, keen eyed investigators spotted a wrinkle in her story. Cashwell appeared on a 2009 episode of “The Price Is Right,”and spun the iconic wheel.
The indictment that was filed in September 2014 also alleged that she had gone zip-lining on a cruise in 2010, and had beenspotted moving furniture on separate occasions in 2011.
Cashwell pleaded guilty to fraud, and will be sentenced in September.
The most troubling thing about this incident is that Cashwell’s case isn’t an anomaly. Workers comp fraud is an all too common problem, according to Allison Blackman, a private investigator.
“There’s a lot of people out there not hurt who are drawing worker’s comp,” said Blackman. “I’ve seen every kind of case you can see … Sometimes you have to get in the woods and bushes. The secret is you’ve got to have your camera up, when they do what they’re doing.”
According to the National Insurance Crime Bureau, fraud costs insurers about $30 billion every year. The agency suggests that employers create new safety programs or improve preexisting ones to maintain a safe working environment that has no tolerance for fraudulent claims.