Cincinnati Man Admits Guilt in Workers' Comp Case

A Cincinnati man has pled guilty to one felonious count of workers' compensation fraud. Willard Montgomery was ordered to repay the Ohio Bureau of Workers' Compensation (BWC) $19,660.57 in restitution and $1,000 in investigative costs. He was also placed on community control for five years.

Montgomery had been collecting temporary total disability (TTD) and permanent total disability (PTD) benefits from BWC after he had returned to work.

"BWC continues to do all it can to control premium costs, and fighting workers' comp fraud is a prime example of our commitment," said James Conrad, BWC administrator/CEO. "Cost control and efficiency have always been priorities of this agency, so we will not let those who attempt to steal from the system jeopardize the employers and taxpayers of Ohio. If you commit fraud, you will get caught."

Montgomery was originally injured in July 1983. While working for Express Transport Co. Inc., Montgomery suffered a left ankle sprain. BWC allowed the claim, initially providing him with TTD benefits and eventually granting PTD benefits. However, BWC's special investigations unit (SIU) received an anonymous tip in March 2001 stating Montgomery had returned to work.

Injured workers who receive PTD benefits are permanently disabled due to an occupational injury and are no longer able to work. PTD benefits are to be terminated when the injured worker is physically able to return to work.

The SIU division launched an investigation on March 5, 2001, and found Montgomery performing maintenance at a property rental in Northern Kentucky. BWC found evidence that he had been receiving payment for his services since December 1999.

Montgomery was indicted on June 13 in a Franklin County Court of Common Pleas and pled guilty to a bill of information.

In fiscal year 2002, BWC's SIU uncovered $98.8 million in savings from fraudulent activity. It referred 312 subjects for criminal prosecution.

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