Archived Story

Iowan faces fraud charges

Published 12:00am Tuesday, February 8, 2000

An Iowa man was charged Monday with two felony theft counts in Mower County Third Judicial District Court in connection with allegedly collecting more than $1,000 in workers’ compensation benefits.

Tuesday, February 08, 2000

An Iowa man was charged Monday with two felony theft counts in Mower County Third Judicial District Court in connection with allegedly collecting more than $1,000 in workers’ compensation benefits.

According to the Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry, Neil F. Ouverson, 37, of Northwood, Iowa, was not entitled to the $1,076 in benefits.

The former employee of Hormel Foods Corp. claimed to have injured his back June 2 while sorting pallets and began collecting workers’ compensation benefits.

The benefits were discontinued July 29 after a surveillance videotape allegedly showed him pulling a car jack to a car during a demolition derby at the Mower County Fairgrounds in Austin, placing it under the car and jacking it up.

In addition, the tape showed Ouverson obtaining a cutting torch and cutting metal away from the car, according to the Department of Labor and Industry. Finally, the tape showed Ouverson jumping onto the roof of the car with a sledgehammer and repeatedly pounding on a piece of metal.

When Ouverson was shown the videotape of his demolition derby activities June 28 by Hormel Foods personnel manager Tim Fritz, he admitted it was him on the tape and said his behavior was "major-league stupidity."

The maximum penalty Ouverson could face is five years in jail and a $10,000 fine. One felony count is for workers compensation fraud and the other is for theft.

The state Department of Labor and Industry’s investigative services unit works closely with employees, employers, insurers, the public, prosecutors, law enforcement officials and others to obtain criminal charges against those who commit workers’ compensation fraud.

The public is encouraged to report information they may have about workers’ compensation fraud by calling the department’s toll-free Workers Compensation Fraud Tip Line at (888) FRAUD-MN or via e-mail at DLI.ISU@state.mn.us.


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