Ohio Man Sentenced for Workers' Comp Fraud

March 8, 2004
An anonymous tip to state authorities got the ball rolling in the case against John Schnieders, of Dayton, Ohio, who was sentenced to 5 years of community control sanctions and $32,909.72 in restitution after being convicted of workers' compensation fraud.

"Workers' compensation fraud cheats Ohio's injured workers with legitimate claims and Ohio's employers who pay into the system," said James Conrad, administrator and CEO of the Ohio Bureau of Workers' Compensation (BWC). "BWC and its partners will not tolerate fraud and will continue to seek out those who commit this crime."

BWC's special investigation unit (SIU) was alerted by by a tipster that Schnieders had created a false company against which he filed a false claim. The SIU confirmed the accusation against Schnieders by verifying he was working while receiving benefits.

Schnieders coerced a person to unknowingly complete a portion of the BWC application for workers' compensation coverage. He then filed the false claim with BWC against a fictional company, Aaron Complete Services. Since Schnieders established a workers' compensation policy for his false company, he received both medical and monetary benefits from BWC for the false claim.

The false company was found to be incorporated with the Secretary of State's office, and Schnieders claimed it was owned by his deceased son. The son's widowed wife was interviewed and stated that he was never involved with such a company. She also noted the Schnieders told her not to speak to BWC investigators.

In fiscal year 2003, BWC's SIU uncovered $102 million in savings from fraudulent activity. There were 130 convictions. The average take in a fraudulent workers' compensation case is $35,000.

About the Author

Sandy Smith

Sandy Smith is the former content director of EHS Today, and is currently the EHSQ content & community lead at Intelex Technologies Inc. She has written about occupational safety and health and environmental issues since 1990.

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