Archive

Archive for February, 2012

Akron man worked two jobs while collecting injured worker benefits

Corn collected two paychecks while he wasn’t supposed to be working at all

COLUMBUS – An Akron (Summit County) man has been ordered to pay more than $14,000 in restitution for collecting paychecks from two employers while he was supposed to be off work recovering from a workplace injury.  An Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC) investigation led to a guilty plea by Kevin Corn in a Franklin County courtroom.

“Working two jobs and collecting compensation check for a workplace injury is clearly out of bounds,” said BWC Administrator/CEO Steve Buehrer. “Recovery of $14,000 in this case is the only fair way to ensure these employers’ premiums are being used only to cover the costs of benefits for those who are truly incapable of working.”

Agents from BWC’s Special Investigations Department began looking into Corn’s activities after receiving an allegation of fraud.  The investigation revealed that two different employers had reported earnings to Corn while he was receiving disability benefits.  Both employers provided records confirming that he was working as a chef during the time period in question.  He was originally injured working as a chef.  Corn was later interviewed and admitted to working for both companies and knew he was not permitted to work while concurrently receiving disability benefits. 

Corn withdrew a previous not guilty plea on Feb. 13 and entered a guilty plea to a felony count of theft. He was immediately sentenced to one year in prison, suspended for community control. Corn was also ordered to repay $13,699.80 in restitution and $500 in investigative costs.

To report suspected workers’ compensation fraud, call 1-800-OHIOBWC, visit ohiobwc.com, or visit www.facebook.com/ohiobwcfraud.

Advertisements

Lancaster man sentenced for workers’ comp fraud

February 22, 2012 1 comment

COLUMBUS – A Lancaster (Fairfield County) man has been sentenced for fraud following an Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC) investigation that revealed his work as a chef while receiving workers’ compensation benefits.  Jean-Michel Matos must repay $17,188.86 he collected while working and simultaneously receiving benefits for a workplace injury.

“Signs of wrongdoing can become visible at many points both inside and outside of BWC and in this case, our staff working with employers recognized the red flags,” said BWC Administrator/CEO Steve Buehrer. “This case serves as a reminder to anyone committing fraud against the workers’ compensation system that there are several ways you can raise suspicion without knowing it.”

BWC’s Special Investigations Department (SID) received an allegation from a Customer Service Specialist who suspected that Matos may be working as a chef, a violation of the rules associated with receiving temporary total disability benefits. BWC agents conducted an undercover operation at one of Matos’ events and confirmed he was working as a chef and learned he worked an additional nine events over a five month period.

Matos pleaded guilty and was sentenced Feb. 15 in a Franklin County courtroom to a fifth degree felony count of theft.  He was sentenced to community control for a five year period and will serve eight months in the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction if he violates the terms.  He was also ordered Matos to pay the $17,000 in restitution to BWC.

To report suspected workers’ compensation fraud, call 1-800-OHIOBWC, visit ohiobwc.com, or visit www.facebook.com/ohiobwcfraud.

https://www.ohiobwc.com/home/current/releases/2012/022212.asp

BWC Investigations Result in Seven Workers’ Comp Fraud Convictions in January

Columbus – Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC) Administrator/CEO Steve Buehrer today announced seven individuals were convicted of or pleaded guilty to charges related to defrauding Ohio’s workers’ compensation system during the month of January. The court actions are the result of investigations conducted by BWC’s Special Investigations Department (SID), which works to deter, detect, investigate, and prosecute workers’ compensation fraud.

“Workers’ comp fraud comes in many forms with employers, providers and workers either trying to get by without paying their share or working the system for payments they are not entitled to,” said Buehrer. “Whatever the form, we are committed to pursuing illegal behavior that harms Ohio’s workers’ compensation system.”

Following is a sampling of cases that resulted in a guilty plea or conviction during the month of January.

Nancy Madewell, dba Bagel Café Inc. (Kettering, Montgomery County), pleaded guilty to three counts of failure to comply for operating her business without workers’ compensation coverage.  Numerous attempts were made by BWC’s Employer Compliance Department to bring Madewell into compliance, but she continued to operate without proper workers’ compensation coverage. On Dec. 2, 2011, Madewell failed to appear for trial and a warrant was issued.  On Jan. 4, 2012, she reported to Kettering Municipal Court in response to the warrant that was issued and entered a guilty plea.  Madewell was sentenced to 60 days in jail suspended on the condition of not violating her 3 year, unsupervised probation.

Jose Ramirez (Cleveland, Cuyahoga County) was sentenced Jan. 17 to one felony count of workers’ compensation fraud for working while receiving benefits.  SID opened an investigation after receiving an allegation that Ramirez was working on cars on his driveway.  The investigation found that Ramirez was working for a transmission repair service from while in receiving temporary total disability benefits.  Ramirez conducted various tasks, such as, sweeping the floors, cleaning the shop, delivering parts to customers, picking up parts from suppliers, supervising/assisting other mechanics with repairs, and driving business tow trucks to pick up vehicles.  Ramirez worked up to four days per week and was paid in cash.  Ramirez pleaded guilty in Franklin County Common Pleas Court and will be sentenced March 2.

Mitchell Oakley (Harrod, Allen County) pleaded guilty Jan. 24 to one count of workers’ compensation fraud for filing a false claim.  Oakley filed a claim indicating he was injured on his first day of work for an employer, however, SID found that Oakley was actually injured moving boxes at home prior to his employment. Mitchell Oakley was sentenced in Lima Municipal Court to 30 days suspended jail and must repay $150 in court costs.

Victoria Hall (Toledo, Lucas County) was sentenced to a felony count of workers’ compensation fraud on Jan. 19 for working while receiving benefits.  SID investigators obtained undercover surveillance video showing her working at a convenience store while receiving temporary total disability benefits.  Hall was previously injured at the same gas station and returned to work there after the gas station was under a different name and owner.  Hall admitted to wrongdoing during an interview and pleaded guilty Dec. 5, 2011. Hall was sentenced to three years of community control and ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $7,754.97 and investigative costs of $1,000.  The conditions of her community control are to pay the restitution and maintain employment.  If Hall violates her probation, the judge stated that he will send her to jail for a term of 12 months.

Nancy Palmer (Cleveland, Cuyahoga County) was sentenced Jan. 31 to a felony count of workers’ compensation fraud for working while receiving benefits. SID received an allegation that Palmer had been working at a local veterinary hospital. Investigators found she had returned to work as a veterinary assistant while receiving Temporary Total Disability benefits.  She was performing duties such as office work, assisting during surgeries, cleaning and taking care of animals.  It was also found that Palmer was working as a telephone solicitor for a local charity.  Palmer entered a guilty plea and the judge ordered her to pay $7,457.72 in restitution and $1,000 for investigative costs.  She was also sentenced to seven months in prison, suspended for eighteen months of community control.

Randall Schornack (Austintown, Mahoning County) was sentenced Jan. 10 to a felony count of workers’ compensation fraud for working while receiving benefits. SID received an anonymous tip on the fraud hotline that Schornack was working as a disc jockey at area bars under the name “DJ Randy Stevens.” SID’s investigation determined that Schornack was working as a DJ for several bars in Mayfield and also for a professional DJ service in Girard while receiving temporary total disability benefits.  The SID obtained video of Schornack unloading and carrying speakers and other equipment from his vehicle into different establishments on a weekly basis and performing work services as a DJ. Schornack was ordered to pay $27,202.62 in restitution He was also sentenced to 18 months in prison, suspended for five years of community control.

To report suspected workers’ compensation fraud, call 1-800-OHIOBWC, visit ohiobwc.com, or visit www.facebook.com/ohiobwcfraud.

https://www.ohiobwc.com/home/current/releases/2012/021712.asp

Cleveland Woman Collecting Workers’ Comp Caught Working at Veterinary Hospital

COLUMBUS – A Cleveland (Cuyahoga County) woman was sentenced last week for fraud after Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC) investigators found she was working for a veterinary hospital and a local charity while receiving benefits for a workplace injury.  Nancy Palmer pleaded guilty and must repay more than $8,000.

“Charity work and caring for man’s best friend are both admirable but not when you’re committing fraud by collecting paychecks for that work,” said BWC Administrator Steve Buehrer. “This type of workers’ comp is available to those whose injuries truly prevent their return to work, but fraud will bring you unwanted attention from BWC investigators.”

BWC’s Special Investigations Department (SID) received an allegation that Palmer had been working at a local veterinary hospital. Investigators found she had returned to work as a veterinary assistant while receiving Temporary Total Disability benefits.  She was performing duties such as office work, assisting during surgeries, cleaning and taking care of animals.  It was also found that Palmer was working as a telephone solicitor for a local charity.

Palmer entered a guilty plea January 31 to a felony count of workers’ compensation fraud.  The judge ordered Palmer to pay $7,457.72 in restitution and $1,000 for investigative costs.  She was also sentenced to seven months in prison, suspended for eighteen months of community control.

https://www.ohiobwc.com/home/current/releases/2012/020612.asp