Robert Harnage, formally of Middletown, Ohio, has been sentenced after an investigation by the Ohio Bureau of Workers Compensation (BWC) Special Investigations Department (SID) determined he owned and operated a business, Classic Home Restoration, in Sierra Vista, Arizona, while receiving temporary total disability benefits for a work related injury.
Harnage pleaded guilty to one count of workers compensation fraud, a felony of the fifth degree, and was ordered to pay BWC $67,000 in restitution. (WCxKit)
BWC opened the investigation into Harnage after receiving an anonymous tip and discovered the Arizona Registrar of Contractors had investigated his activities there and found him guilty of operating without a contractors license. This information conflicted with Harnages submission of signed documentation to BWC confirming his understanding that he was prohibited from working or operating a business while receiving temporary total disability benefits.
BWC agents conducted interviews of Harnages customers who confirmed that he actively participated in the day-to-day operations of the business including providing estimates for all jobs, assisting with physical labor and supervising his crew. Agents also identified 149 checks written from customers to Harnage for his work as a contractor and determined he received benefits for which he was ineligible over a three-year period.
Harnage was indicted in September, 2009, but failed to appear and a warrant was issued for his arrest. (WCxKit)
The BWC SID Fugitive Task Force coordinated with the Cochise Sheriff’s Department in Arizona and Harnage was arrested at work.
Author Robert Elliott, executive vice president, Amaxx Risks Solutions, Inc. has worked successfully for 20 years with many industries to reduce Workers Compensation costs, including airlines, healthcare, printing/publishing, pharmaceuticals, retail, hospitality and manufacturing. See www.LowerWC.com for more information. Contact:Info@ReduceYourWorkersComp.com or 860-553-6604.
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