Home > Press Releases & Case Information > BWC investigators uncover workers’ comp fraud in Columbus

BWC investigators uncover workers’ comp fraud in Columbus

COLUMBUS – Two Columbus residents owe thousands of dollars in workers’ compensation benefits they collected illegally following separate investigations by the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC) Special Investigations Department (SID).  Suzarrah Fisher and James Decker each recently pleaded guilty to fraud related to their attempts to cheat Ohio’s workers’ compensation system.

“Working in conflict with benefits and filing false claims are some of the most common tactics among individuals who are discovered committing fraud,” said BWC Administrator/CEO Steve Buehrer.  “Whatever the tactic, costs can add up quickly for employers that must pay for these claims based on deception.”

ImageSID began investigating Suzarrah Fisher after receiving an internal referral that she was receiving wages while collecting benefits for a prior workplace injury. The investigation revealed she worked for three employers over a two year period while receiving Temporary Total Disability and Living Maintenance benefits.  

Fisher pleaded guilty to one felony count of workers’ compensation fraud.  She was sentenced August 2 to 11 months in prison, suspended for 24 months of community control.  She was also ordered to pay restitution totaling $7,942.29 and $1,782.81 for investigative costs

ImageIn a separate case, James Decker, also of Columbus, was caught filing false claims in order to obtain narcotics.  SID received an allegation and opened an investigation that revealed he knowingly filed four false claims against employers he never worked for. He also filed a false claim using another person’s name. Decker admitted to filing the five false claims and using a false identity to obtain narcotics.

Decker pleaded guilty July 31 to one felony count of workers’ compensation fraud and was sentenced the same day to 10 months in prison, suspended for a five-year period of community control.  He was also ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $1,014.23 and investigative costs totaling $4,654.78.  Decker must make monthly payments of $100 per month as a condition of community control. 

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

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