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For immediate release: February 25, 2015

South Euclid woman sentenced for workers' comp fraud, ordered to pay $9K

Columbus - A South Euclid (Cuyahoga County) woman was sentenced Feb. 10 in Franklin County Court of Common Pleas for working while receiving workers' compensation benefits. Brecia Whitten pleaded guilty to one count of workers' compensation fraud, a fifth-degree felony.

"BWC uses various techniques to detect whether someone receiving workers' compensation benefits is receiving wages when they are prohibited from working," said BWC Administrator/CEO Steve Buehrer. "In this case, a data exchange alerted our investigators that Whitten may be working and committing fraud."

BWC investigators found that Whitten did in fact receive wages for working as a substitute teacher and as a mailroom coordinator while receiving temporary total disability benefits. Injured workers are not permitted to work while receiving this type of benefit. In September 2013, the Industrial Commission of Ohio issued an order that found an overpayment of the benefits, and a finding of fraud was issued.

Whitten was sentenced to eight months in prison, which was suspended for five years of community control. One of the terms of community control is that she must pay $9,035.41 to BWC. If she does not comply, Whitten will be required to serve the prison time.

To report suspected workers' compensation fraud, call 1-800-644-6292 or visit bwc.ohio.gov. Check out our latest cases at ohiobwcfraud.wordpress.com, follow Fraud Fridays on Twitter @OhioBWCFraud, or join in the conversation at facebook.com/ohiobwcfraud. View and share BWC's workers' comp fraud awareness video on our YouTube channel.

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