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The long arm of the law

Some of our convicted subjects operated under the false assumption that they could evade fraud detection, investigation or prosecution by leaving Ohio. Perhaps they assumed the BWC’s Special Investigations Department (SID) had a reach that ended at the state border. Maybe they assumed agents would not remotely follow them, if they put enough states between themselves and BWC. Or, they assumed out-of-state law enforcement officers would be too busy to apprehend and arrest them. Perhaps they hoped prosecutors in Ohio would not care to extradite them to stand trial back in Ohio for their crimes. But, as we showed you in August 2012, Randy and Robin Hammond learned that they couldn’t avoid the consequences of their actions by fleeing Ohio.

SID teams coordinated and closed cases pertaining 86 claimant, provider and employer subjects who relocated beyond our state borders in the last year alone. These out-of-state investigations yielded $622,235 in identified savings. We have been successful with remote investigations since our department’s inception. We conducted our first large-scale campaign in the mid-1990s. Dubbed Operation Long-Arm, our agents surprised more than a few suspects when we showed up at their out-of-state residences to bring them to justice. From this operation, we determined we would continue the practice of conducting out-of-state investigations.

We hire private investigative firms throughout the U.S. to conduct undercover surveillance as needed. The firms investigate non-Ohio residents suspected of committing fraud against our agency. These private investigators are our local eyes and ears. SID analysts and agents review the preliminary evidence these private investigative firms collect. We secure additional evidence, determine the truth, conclude the investigation, and refer subjects for criminal prosecution.

If defendants fail to appear in Ohio for arraignment, then our fugitive task force is deployed. They locate fugitives and coordinate arrests with local law enforcement officers or the U.S. Marshals Service. Prosecutors extradite these defendants to stand trial in court. These steps were used to secure the conviction and sentencing of the Hammonds.

Collaborating with our colleagues extends our reach: the law does indeed have a long arm.

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