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For immediate release: August 23, 2013
Cleveland business owner sentenced for failing to maintain workers' comp coverage
Conviction could land Donnie Schilling in jail for 99 years on unrelated drug charges in Texas
CLEVELAND - A Cleveland (Cuyahoga County) man has been sentenced after a jury convicted him of failing to maintain workers' compensation coverage for his business. Donald L. "Donnie" Schilling, owner of Cleveland Tire & Wheel, was found to be concealing employee payroll figures so he could operate his business without workers’ compensation coverage. Schilling is currently on probation from a drug conviction in Texas and this violation of his probation could result in a sentence there of up to 99 years of incarceration.
"Mr. Schilling's failure to secure workers' compensation insurance jeopardizes funds allocated for Ohio workers and employers who follow the law," said Ohio Bureau of Workers' Compensation (BWC) Administrator/CEO Steve Buehrer. "BWC is committed to investigating and prosecuting any type of fraud that undermines the care of an injured worker and their ability to return to work."
BWC's Special Investigations Department (SID) Employer Fraud Team began investigating Schilling after receiving information that he was operating his business without coverage. Schilling refused to cooperate although he was repeatedly warned by BWC's Employer Compliance Department of the law requiring workers' compensation coverage. The Employer Fraud Team then put Schilling on notice but he still failed to obtain a policy while continuing to operate his business and conceal his employee payroll. In addition, three workers' compensation claims were filed by employees of Cleveland Tire & Wheel costing the State Insurance Fund more than $30,000.
Schilling's case went to trial and he was found guilty of one felony count of workers' compensation fraud in the Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas. Schilling was sentenced Aug, 22 to 120 days in jail and will serve his time every Monday and Tuesday for 60 weeks beginning Sept. 9. He will also be under the supervision of community control for the next two years. In addition, Schilling will be required within the next 60 days to enter into a payment plan with BWC so he can pay overdue premiums totaling $61,101.59.
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