Home > Press Releases & Case Information > Bait shop owner caught on video, working while receiving workers’ comp

Bait shop owner caught on video, working while receiving workers’ comp

Columbus – A Cleveland (Cuyahoga County) man was sentenced July 21 in the Franklin County Court of Common Pleas on one count of workers’ compensation fraud, a first-degree misdemeanor. Anthony A. Avancini pleaded guilty to the charge on the same day.

“A doctor’s note tipped off one of our claims service specialists, who reported potential fraud,” said BWC Administrator/CEO Steve Buehrer. “Our Special Investigations Department will not waiver in its efforts to seek justice in cases where claimants, employers and medical providers commit workers’ compensation fraud.”

SID received an allegation from a claims service specialist supervisor that a doctor’s note stated Avancini “owns a store, now works mostly at a sitting job.” Forms submitted to BWC were faxed from a bait and tackle business. Investigators captured surveillance footage showing that Avancini was involved in the day-to-day business and operation of Stink’s Bait and Tackle in Cleveland from September 2013 to June 2014 while receiving temporary total disability benefits. Claimants are not permitted to work while receiving this type of benefit.

In November 2014, the Industrial Commission of Ohio issued an order finding an overpayment of temporary total disability compensation in Avancini’s claim between September 2013 and June 2014 due to fraud.

Avancini was sentenced to 180 days in jail, which was suspended for two years of community control. He must maintain employment and pay $4,276.40 in restitution to BWC.

Surveillance footage from the case is available here. A picture of Avancini is available here.

To report suspected workers’ compensation fraud, call 1-800-644-6292 or visit bwc.ohio.gov. Check out our latest cases at ohiobwcfraud.wordpress.com, and see what workers’ compensation fraud looks like in our fraud awareness video on YouTube.

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