LAS VEGAS (KSNV & MyNews3) -- An elite group of investigators from the Nevada attorney general’s office are combing the streets to catch crooks.
Their assignment is to catch people milking the system through phony workers' compensation claims.
Brian Williams, a senior deputy attorney general for the state of Nevada, says one woman — Stephanie Williams — is now a felon in one of the worst workers' compensation fraud cases he’s seen.
Investigators, acting on a tip that Williams may not be as injured as she claimed, filmed her every move.
Under surveillance, Williams is seen walking just fine, bending down to get into her car, adept enough to stand on one leg at one point — before driving to her doctor’s office.
A block from the office, Williams pulls over, changes her shoes in the car and then rifles through her trunk to pull out a walker.
Once at the doctor’s office, Williams is hard to recognize, barely able to walk and moving slowly.
Inside, Williams tells the doctor she’s too injured to work and qualifies for the nearly $11,000 her scheme bilked from workers' compensation.
Unfortunately, there are other cases out there. Nevada is one of the highest-ranking states in the country for workers' compensation fraud.
The obvious costs to the taxpayer for the scam include rising insurance premiums. Plus, those with real health issues end up buried in red tape because of people who cheat the system.
Last year, 500 cases were referred to the attorney general’s office, most in Clark County. Nationally, it is a billion-dollar drain on the public.