Ohio Continues Workers' Comp Fraud Crack Down in 2002

Investigators from the Ohio Bureau of Workers' Compensation (BWC) are continuing their crack down on workers' compensation fraud, even finding one one allegedly disabled worker who had five jobs while collecting workers' compensation benefits.

Investigators from the Ohio Bureau of Workers'' Compensation (BWC) are continuing their crack down on workers'' compensation fraud.

Last year, investigators identified over $88.6 million in savings, referred a record 256 subjects to the Ohio Attorney General''s Office for prosecution, and achieved 80 convictions.

Earlier this year, investigators caught a Cincinnati-area chiropractor scamming the state for more than $126,000 by billing BWC for treatment of injured workers when no treatment was performed. That case was covered in the Occupationalhazards.com article "Ohio Cracks Down on Cincinnati-area Chiropractor."

In another case, Jerry Johnson, a Logan resident, worked for the Logan Daily News as a newspaper delivery truck driver. After injuring his knee at work, he continued delivering newspapers for nearly seven years - although his paychecks were made out to his wife - while collecting permanent total disability payments.

He pleaded "no contest" to one count of workers'' compensation fraud, a fourth degree felony. Hocking County Judge Thomas Gerken sentenced Johnson to 14 months in jail, but suspended 13 months of the sentence. When he is released from jail, Johnson must make monthly restitution payments until the $89,039 he owes BWC is repaid.

BWC reports that a Mentor, Ohio, man liked to work so much he held five jobs while collecting workers'' compensation benefits. Unbeknownst to John McCallister, BWC routinely cross matches records with the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services to find people who are working while collecting benefits.

From December 1999 to March 2000, McCallister collected over $8,100 in workers'' compensation benefits while working. He pleaded guilty to one count of workers'' compensation fraud, and was sentenced to three years'' probation and 100 hours of community service. He was ordered to maintain a full-time job and must pay a $5,000 fine within six months and restitution of $8,112 within 60 days. If he violates the terms set by Judge Kathleen Sutula, he could be sentenced to 18 months in prison.

by Sandy Smith ([email protected])

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