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For immediate release: Oct. 14, 2016
BWC's Special Investigations lands 9 fraud convictions in September
COLUMBUS - The Ohio Bureau of Workers' Compensation (BWC) netted nine convictions in September in criminal cases related to workers' compensation fraud.
Those convicted included workers who found other work while collecting BWC benefits, employers with lapsed coverage who racked up outstanding premiums and fines totaling tens of thousands of dollars, and a dependent of a deceased worker who lied about her college attendance to collect nearly $54,000 in BWC benefits over four years.
"Those who cheat the workers' compensation system divert resources we need to serve employers and injured workers in the most efficient, cost-effective manner possible," said BWC Administrator/CEO Sarah Morrison. "Congratulations to our investigators for bringing these cases to justice and returning funds to their rightful purpose - making Ohio workplaces safer and caring for injured workers."
As of Sept. 30, BWC's Special Investigations Department (SID) had secured 80 convictions for the calendar year. September convictions include:
William Tootle, Columbus, Ohio (Franklin County) - Falsified Wages
Steve Petrick Jr., Sandusky, Ohio (Erie County) - Lapsed Coverage
Lisa M. Manley, Brewster, Ohio (Stark County) - Working and Receiving
Ronnie Tolliver, Greenville, Ohio (Darke County) - Working and Receiving
Tolliver pleaded guilty Sept. 22 to one count of workers' compensation fraud, a fifth-degree felony. A judge in the Franklin County Court of Common Pleas sentenced Tolliver to non-reporting community control for five years and ordered him to pay $18,510 in restitution to BWC. The judge warned Tolliver that if he violates the terms of his community control, he will serve 12 months in prison.
Dion Hopson, Columbus, Ohio (Franklin County) - Working and Receiving
Kori White, Cleveland, Ohio (Cuyahoga County) - Death Benefits
A judge in the Franklin County Court of Common Pleas sentenced White to community control for five years, under the conditions she obtain a job or undergo job training and make regular payments toward her BWC balance. White paid $10,000 toward her restitution to BWC prior to her plea, leaving her with a balance owed of $43,782.
Robert D Matusiak, Brunswick, Ohio (Medina County) - No Coverage, False Application
Investigators also found Matusiak filed falsified applications for BWC coverage during their investigation in an attempt to cover up his history and avoid paying $22,000 in outstanding premiums. Sentencing in the Medina County Court of Common Pleas is set for Nov. 3.
Cheryl McCleary, Columbus,Ohio (Franklin County) – Obstructing Official Business
Lynn D. McCann II, Mount Vernon, Ohio (Knox County) – Working and Receiving
McCann repaid more than $14,000 to BWC prior to his sentencing in the Franklin County Court of Common Pleas. A judge sentenced him to one day in jail, time served.
To report suspected workers' compensation fraud, call 1-800-644-6292 or visit bwc.ohio.gov.
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