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For immediate release: Sept. 19, 2016
BWC's Special Investigations nets 8 convictions in August
COLUMBUS - The Ohio Bureau of Workers' Compensation (BWC) netted eight convictions in August in criminal cases related to workers' compensation fraud.
The eight Ohioans convicted include a Hamilton man who got an 18-month jail sentence for falsifying his wages to increase his disability rate, a Dayton-area man who filed a false injury claim and tried to extort $3,000 from his employer in return for dropping the claim, and a Toledo man who lied to his physician and used an alias to collect injured workers' benefits.
"These convictions illustrate the lengths some will undertake to rip off the workers' compensation system," said BWC Administrator/CEO Sarah Morrison. "But they also highlight the skill and dedication of our staff and investigators to catch this activity and return BWC funds to their rightful purpose - preventing workplace injuries and caring for those who do get injured."
As of Aug. 31, BWC's Special Investigations Department (SID) had secured 69 convictions for the calendar year. August convictions include:
Matt E. Wilder of Hamilton - False Wages
Wilder pleaded guilty Aug. 30 in Montgomery County Common Pleas Court to one count of forgery (uttering), a fifth-degree felony, and one count of workers compensation fraud, a first-degree misdemeanor. Wilder was ordered to serve 12 months in state prison and an additional six months in jail in Butler County. He received credit for 115 days served. He also was ordered to pay BWC $271 in restitution and to serve three years of post-release control.
Thomas Shafer of Miamisburg - False Claim
Shafer pleaded guilty Aug. 29 in Dayton Municipal Court to one count of disorderly conduct, a fourth-degree misdemeanor, and was sentenced to 10 days in jail. He was originally charged with falsification and workers' compensation fraud.
Michael Scott of Lancaster - Working and Receiving
Martin Halka of Oregon (Lucas County) - Lapsed Coverage
A judge found Halka guilty of one count of failure to comply, a second-degree misdemeanor, on Aug. 23 in Oregon Municipal Court. He fined Halka $250, plus $87 in court costs, and ordered Halka to serve one year probation and 15 days of house arrest with electronic monitoring.
Kash Marzetti of Columbus - Working and Receiving
David Abitua of Toledo - Falsification
Ambrose Adams of Lexington - Working and Receiving
Adams pleaded guilty Aug. 16 in Franklin County Common Pleas Court to one misdemeanor count of workers' compensation fraud. He was sentenced to 60 days in jail, suspended, and one year of probation. BWC recovered $11,965 in restitution prior to his plea.
Christopher James of Massillon - Working and Receiving
To report suspected workers' compensation fraud, call 1-800-644-6292 or visit bwc.ohio.gov.
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