Archive

Archive for January, 2017

Cross match in state agency databases leads to fraud convictions

A routine check on injured worker names through state agency databases led to convictions this week of two Ohio men on workers’ compensation fraud charges.

Investigators with the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC) ran the workers’ names by the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services and found records indicating they were employed while concurrently receiving temporary total disability benefits from BWC.

dasse-booking-photoFrederic Dasse, 44, of Canal Winchester, pleaded guilty Wednesday in a Franklin County court room to one misdemeanor count of workers’ compensation fraud.

A judge ordered Dasse to pay $5,472 in restitution to BWC by July 25 or face 180 days in jail.

beasley-booking-photoIn a separate and unrelated case, Robert Beasley, 56, of Cleveland, must pay BWC $7,065 in restitution after pleading guilty Thursday to a misdemeanor count of workers’ compensation fraud.

The judge also sentenced Beasley to three years of community control after suspending a 180-day jail sentence.

BWC’s Special Investigations Department discovered Dasse, a security guard when he was injured in 2013, was working two jobs while receiving BWC benefits. They found Beasley working as cleaner for a Cleveland-area company while receiving benefits.

To report suspected workers’ compensation fraud, call 1-800-644-6292 or visit bwc.ohio.gov.

Prison guard cheats workers’ comp system, must reimburse BWC

jason-chamberlin-booking-photoA Ross County prison guard must pay the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation nearly $6,000 in restitution after investigators found him working while collecting injured workers’ benefits.

Jason E. Chamberlin of Kingston, about 11 miles northeast of Chillicothe, pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor count of workers’ compensation fraud Jan. 12 in the Franklin County Court of Common Pleas.

BWC’s Special Investigations Department (SID) got a tip in 2015 that Chamberlin might be working after a representative from a managed care organization called him at home and was told he was at work. The investigation revealed Chamberlin knowingly returned to work at the Chillicothe Correctional Institution while receiving temporary total disability benefits. He failed to notify BWC that he returned to work and he continued to withdraw payments from his BWC debit card.

A judge sentenced Chamberlin to 180 days in jail, but suspended the jail term for five years probation. The probation could terminate sooner if Chamberlin pays full restitution, $5,918, in less time.

Convicts stole work comp benefits from family members

BWC secures 7 fraud convictions in December

BWC investigators secured seven fraud-related convictions in December that included two cases where the convicts had stolen injured workers’ benefits from family members.

In a case in northwest Ohio, the children of a deceased claimant cashed out their father’s BWC benefits for four months following his death in 2014. Cecilia Williams, 36, of Fayette, Ohio, pleaded guilty Dec. 20 to a fifth-degree felony count of workers’ compensation fraud. Her sentence is pending a pre-sentence investigation ordered by a Fulton County judge.

BWC’s Special Investigations Department (SID) discovered that Williams’ father had died in March 2014 but his family failed to notify BWC. The investigation found that BWC benefits continued to be deposited through July 2014 and more than $6,600 were withdrawn from ATMs over that time. Williams admitted to withdrawing the funds using her deceased father’s debit card and then providing half of the money to her brother, James Miller.

James Miller is scheduled for pre-trial on Feb. 10.

In another case involving family members, Kelly Clark, 38, of Columbus pleaded guilty to a first-degree misdemeanor count of theft Dec. 15 in a Franklin County courtroom for stealing an elderly relative’s BWC check.

Investigators found that Clark, who had been living with the relative, stole the check and cashed it without permission. She was sentenced to 90 days in jail, but received 30 days credited for time served and 60 days suspended as long as she pays $862 in restitution by Sept. 13, 2017.

Other December convictions include:

Muhammad Rashid of Hilliard — Lapsed Coverage
A judge found Rashid guilty of a minor misdemeanor count of failure to comply after Rashid failed to carry BWC coverage on his Youngstown area gas stations. Rashid became compliant on three gas stations, closed a fourth and paid its outstanding balance of $2,824. A judge imposed a $100 fine and court costs.

Alfonso R. Hooper of Columbus — Falsifying Wages
Hooper, 66, pleaded guilty Dec. 19 to one count of workers’ compensation fraud, a first-degree misdemeanor, after investigators found he falsified his job search forms in order to receive non-working, wage-loss benefits from BWC. The court sentenced Hooper to 30 days in jail, suspended for one year of community control. The court also ordered Hooper to pay $5,000 investigative costs to BWC.

Scott A. Dix of Westerville — False Claim
Dix pleaded guilty Dec. 6 to one count of attempted forgery, a first-degree misdemeanor, after investigators determined he filed a false injured worker’s claim against his employer in order to receive BWC benefits. He was sentenced to 90 days in jail, which was suspended as long as he pays $750 to BWC for investigative costs.

William T. Maguire of Cincinnati — Lapsed Coverage
Maguire pleaded guilty to two fifth-degree felony counts of workers’ compensation fraud Dec. 6 after BWC discovered he ran his landscaping business for at least five years without workers’ compensation coverage. He owes premiums to BWC totaling $92,447. His sentencing is scheduled for Jan. 18 in Hamilton County.

Angelo Reillo Sr. of Garfield Heights — Working and Receiving
Reillo pleaded guilty Dec. 1 to a misdemeanor count of workers’ compensation fraud after investigators caught him working while receiving injured workers’ benefits. Reillo paid $3,354 in restitution to BWC at the time of his guilty plea. A judge fined him $50.

To report suspected cases of workers’ compensation fraud, call 1-800-644-6292 or visit bwc.ohio.gov.

Penn. prison stay delays work comp cheat’s Ohio conviction

tony-harn-booking-photoA Columbus man pleaded guilty to workers’ compensation fraud Monday after his case was delayed for two years because he was in a Pennsylvania prison for violating his probation in a separate and unrelated criminal matter.

Tony R. Harn pleaded guilty Jan. 9 to one count of workers’ compensation fraud and one count of theft, both misdemeanors of the first degree, in the Franklin County Court of Common Pleas. A judge ordered Harn to pay $12,861 in restitution to the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC) and sentenced him to 180 days in jail on each count. The judge then suspended the jail sentence and placed Harn on two years of community control.

BWC’s Special Investigations Department started looking at Harn in 2010 after learning he had filed a suspicious wage earnings statement (IRS 1099) that BWC needed to calculate his injured workers’ benefits. SID determined Harn never worked for the employer listed on the 1099, an Ohio trucking company, and that he knowingly submitted the false form to increase his BWC benefits.

Harn was indicted in Franklin County in 2013, extradited to Pennsylvania in 2014 for his prison term there and released last year.

Holidays bring convictions to 3 workers’ comp cheats

A northeast Ohio truck driver on injured workers’ benefits since 1993 is on the hook for $17,000 after pleading guilty to workers’ compensation fraud Tuesday in the Franklin County Court of Common Pleas.

secklerWilliam Seckler, 54, of the village of Andover in Ashtabula County, must pay the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC) $14,520 in restitution and $2,530 in investigative costs for working while receiving permanent total disability benefits. A judge also ordered Seckler to serve 180 days in jail, suspended, and four years of community control for the first-degree misdemeanor.

Seckler was employed as a full-time truck driver at the time of his injury in 1993. Acting on a tip, BWC’s Special Investigations Department (SID) started looking at him in 2014 and found him working as a delivery driver for an Amish roofing company.

In other news, a Columbus man was convicted for workers’ compensation fraud on Dec. 19 after falsifying his job search forms in order to receive non-working, wage-loss benefits from BWC.

alfonso-hooper-booking-photoAlfonso R. Hooper, 66, pleaded guilty to a first-degree misdemeanor count of workers’ compensation fraud after SID found he falsely claimed to have applied for work at more than 40 potential employers listed on his job search forms.

A Franklin County judge sentenced Hooper to 30 days in jail, suspended, and one year of community control. The judge also ordered Hooper to pay BWC $5,000 for its investigative costs.

In a court case Dec. 30, a central Ohio man was convicted for failure to comply after BWC found he was operating four gas stations in the Youngstown area with lapsed workers’ compensation policies.

A judge in Niles Municipal Court convicted Muhammad Rashid, 36, of Hilliard, Ohio, on a minor misdemeanor count of failure to comply and fined Rashid $100 and court costs.

Rashid worked with BWC to become compliant with three policies, but not on the fourth. Rashid later filed paperwork with BWC stating he closed that business and paid the outstanding balance due of $2,824.

To report suspected cases of workers’ compensation fraud, call 1-800-644-6292 or visit bwc.ohio.gov.