Convoy landscaper ordered to pay $18,000 for workers’ comp fraud
COLUMBUS – A Convoy (Van Wert County) man was sentenced for working at his landscaping business while receiving Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC) benefits for a prior workplace injury. Mark Mefferd was ordered to repay more than $18,000 after he was convicted of fraud for improperly collecting those benefits from BWC.
“Mr. Mefferd collected BWC benefits while trimming trees, pulling weeds, planting flowers and spreading mulch,” said BWC Administrator/CEO Steve Buehrer. “We do not tolerate those who try to defraud the workers’ compensation system. Every dollar that is collected to care for injured workers must be used for its intended purpose.”
BWC’s Special Investigations Unit received an allegation that Mefferd may have returned to work while receiving BWC benefits. Evidence indicated that Mefferd continued to operate his business and performed landscaping services for numerous businesses in northwest Ohio. He was receiving temporary total, living maintenance and non-working wage loss benefits while operating the business.
Mefferd pleaded guilty Feb. 28 to one count of workers’ compensation fraud, a fifth-degree felony. He was sentenced April 19 and ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $18,690.63, plus court costs. He was placed on community control for five years and was informed that he will serve 11 months at the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction if he violates the terms of his community control.
To report suspected workers’ compensation fraud, call 1-800-OHIOBWC, visit ohiobwc.com, or visit http://www.facebook.com/ohiobwcfraud.