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For immediate release: July 24 2015
Clermont County man ordered to pay $7K in restitution for workers' comp fraud
Columbus - A Milford (Clermont County) man was sentenced July 10 in the Franklin County Court of Common Pleas on one count of workers' compensation fraud, a first-degree misdemeanor, and one count of forgery, a fifth-degree felony. Douglas Vastine previously pleaded guilty to these charges.
"Assisting injured workers as they transition back to work or seek new employment is vital to supporting their overall recovery," said BWC Administrator/CEO Steve Buehrer. "However, we must also root out fraud like that perpetrated by Mr. Vastine to ensure benefits go only to those who qualify and protect the dollars Ohio employers pay into the State Insurance Fund."
BWC received an allegation that Vastine was possibly falsifying job searches he submitted to BWC for disability benefits. Investigators found that Vastine did falsify job searches to qualify for living maintenance wage loss benefits between January and April 2013, and that many of the jobs and job locations he said he applied for did not exist, or the employers did not have any record of job applications from him. He received $6,337.30 in wage loss benefits he would have otherwise been ineligible to receive. Investigators also discovered that Vastine submitted $902.48 in false travel reimbursement forms to BWC for traveling to job searches that were proven false.
Vastine was sentenced to serve six months in jail for each count concurrently, which was suspended for two years of community control. Vastine must pay $7,239.78 in restitution to BWC, maintain employment and not have any new offenses.
A picture of Vastine is available here.
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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