Ohio BWC Busts Card Dealer for Comp Fraud

A Kentucky resident – who was injured on the job in Ohio more than 8 years ago – pleaded guilty to workers' compensation fraud after investigators discovered he was dealing cards for a mobile casino.

According to the Ohio Bureau of Workers' Compensation (BWC), William Wallace of Taylor Mill, Ky., pleaded guilty to one count of workers' compensation fraud – a fifth-degree felony – in the Franklin County Common Pleas Court. The court ordered Wallace to repay Ohio BWC $11,428, in addition to $500 for investigative costs.

The court placed Wallace on 3 years of community control and sentenced him to 6 months in prison, suspended if he meets the terms of community control.

"Workers' compensation fraud is a serious crime that cannot be tolerated," Ohio BWC Administrator/CEO Bill Mabe said. "The law is written to stop this abuse and the bureau will use the teeth of the law when the evidence shows that a crime has been committed."

Wallace Hurt His Back in 1998

According to Ohio BWC, Wallace injured his back in 1998 when he fell off a ladder working for RPC Mechanical Inc. in Cincinnati. After the injury, he received temporary total compensation.

In 2004, BWC's special investigations department received a tip from an anonymous source that Wallace was working. During the investigation, the special investigations department found that Black Diamond Casino LLC in Ohio employed Wallace, who was dealing cards for a mobile casino.

The investigation closed in March 2006.

So far in the 2007 fiscal year, according to Ohio BWC, the special investigations department has identified more than $40 million in savings. The department has more than 1,700 cases pending.

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