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Archive for November, 2021

October Convictions Totaling Over $13K in Restitutions

November 26, 2021 Leave a comment

In October, the special investigations department secured three convictions with restitutions totaling $13,185.48. This brings the total convictions for 2021 to 46. Theodore Carter, Jasmine Byrd, and Charles Finks were all convicted of workers’ compensation fraud after working while receiving workers’ compensation benefits.

Theodore Carter

Columbus, Ohio (Franklin)

The Special Investigations Department opened an investigation after its Intelligence Unit identified Theodore Carter potentially earned wages during periods he had received BWC disability benefits. Carter returned to work as a full-time machine operator and as a full-time warehouse worker through two separate staffing companies while receiving compensation benefits from BWC that he was not entitled to.

On Oct. 20, 2021, Theodore Carter pleaded guilty to one count of workers’ compensation fraud, a first-degree misdemeanor. Prior to entering his plea, Carter repaid $3,121.46 of restitution in full to the clerk’s office. The judge accepted Carter’s guilty plea, ordered the restitution to be paid to the BWC, and closed the case.

Jasmine Byrd

Toledo, Ohio (Lucas County)

The Special Investigations Department found Byrd was working at a local Northwest Ohio employer between July and November 2018 while receiving over $6,000 in temporary total disability benefits.

On Oct. 13, 2021, Jasmine Byrd pleaded guilty to one count of workers’ compensation fraud, a first-degree misdemeanor. Judge Holbrook accepted the plea and sentenced Byrd to 180 days in jail, suspended for five years of community control. Byrd was ordered to pay $6,099.30 in restitution to BWC.

Charles Finks

Groveport, Ohio (Franklin County)

The Special Investigations Department opened an investigation after its Intelligence Unit identified Charles Finks potentially earned wages during periods he had received BWC disability benefits. The investigation found that Finks was working as a welding layout fitter between December 2018 and January 2019 while receiving over $3,900 in temporary total benefits he was not entitled to.

Charles Finks pleaded guilty to one count of workers’ compensation fraud, a first-degree misdemeanor on Oct. 19, 2021. Prior to entering his plea, Finks paid $3,964.72 in restitution to the clerk’s office. Judge Holbrook accepted the plea and sentenced Finks to one day in jail, one day of jail time credit, and waived fines and costs.

It’s International Fraud Awareness Week

November 15, 2021 Leave a comment

November 14-20 is International Fraud Awareness Week. The Special Investigations Department (SID) of the BWC is hard at work every day to make sure the State Insurance Fund is protected from fraud committed by injured workers, employers, or health care providers.

Workers’ Compensation fraud occurs when someone knowingly makes a false representation to obtain or deny workers’ compensation benefits or to avoid responsibility under the law. It can also occur when an employer fails to obtain or maintain coverage or misrepresents the amount of payroll or classification of its employees. Healthcare providers commit fraud when they intentionally receive payments to which they’re not entitled. In Fiscal Year 2021, we received 2,421 allegations of fraud.

We value the public’s assistance in helping us identify instances of potential fraud. To make it easier for people to file reports, SID worked with the BWC Information Technology division to create a simplified online fraud referral form.

The form, which you can access on our website, now only requires the subject’s first name (or initial) and last name. We continue to welcome all information a source may furnish us. Including an injured worker’s full name, date of birth (or age), address, or city and state of residence, ensures we will immediately know whom to investigate.

The simplified form uploads the allegation into our case management database and immediately assigns the referral to the appropriate SID team for review and research. It also provides tipsters an immediate confirmation, including the fraud allegation number for future reference or follow-up.

In addition to online, suspected fraud can also be reported by calling 1-800-644-6292 or emailing Allegations.W.1@bwc.state.oh.us.