As one Ohio man recently discovered, don’t expect to outsmart state officials for too long when trying to illegally collect workers compensation benefits.
The Grove City (Franklin County) man was ordered to pay more than $30,000 in restitution for working while collecting workplace injury benefits.
Dale Richards pleaded guilty in March to workers comp fraud, a fifth-degree felony, after an investigation by the Ohio Bureau of Workers Compensation (BWC) revealed he was earning a living selling scrap metal.
“In addition to selling scrap metal, Mr. Richards also engaged in additional restricted work and physical activity,” said BWC Administrator/CEO Steve Buehrer. “An anonymous allegation put this investigation into motion. We take these allegations very seriously because they often help us put an end to fraud cases like this one.”
Workers Compensation Scam Ran From 2009 to 2012
The Columbus Special Investigations Unit (SIU) received an allegation that Richards was working while receiving BWC benefits. The investigation showed that Richards was involved in construction and remodeling projects as well as selling scrap metal. He sold 74 tons of scrap metal in Columbus from 2009 to 2012 while receiving temporary total disability benefits.
Richards was ordered to pay $30,381.48 in restitution to the BWC. He was also sentenced to serve eight months at the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction, which was suspended for three years of community control as long as he doesn’t violate probation rules and pays restitution.
Author Kori Shafer-Stack, Editor, Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. is an expert in post-injury response procedures and part of the Amaxx team helping companies reduce their workers compensation costs by 20% to 50%. www.reduceyourworkerscomp.com. Contact: email@example.com.
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