In a Tallahassee legislative session, lawmakers discussing workers’ compensation bills highlighted the case of Sheyla Veronica White as an example of workers’ compensation fraud.
Florida’s Department of Financial Services filed a case against White after footage surfaced showing White smacking herself repeatedly over the head with a broken sprinkler head.
White was working as a receptionist at Cinque Terre Energy Partners in October 2015 when she filed an injury claim stating that she was hit on the head by a part of a sprinkler from the fire suspension system. According to a Division of Insurance Fraud arrest report, she claimed that the piece fell and bounced off her desk, hitting her.
During investigations into the claim, security footage from the company was reviewed, and White was subsequently charged with two counts of workers’ compensation fraud.
The arrest report stated that the footage showed the broken sprinkler piece falling onto her desktop, but it did not hit her. The report read: "White then picked up the sprinkler piece, looked at it, scouted the immediate area for witnesses [and] then intentionally struck herself on the forehead with the fixture.”
She entered a plea of no contest in December, and according to court documents, was sentenced to 18 months’ probation.
Her claim stated that her medical benefits amounted to$6,540.36.
According to experts, one reason behind Florida's Office of Insurance Regulation approval of a 14.5 percent increase in 2016 for premiums paid toward workers' compensation insurance was fraudulent cases.