|OhioBWC - Home: Current News|
For immediate release: Jan. 18, 2017
Convicts stole work comp benefits from family members
BWC secures 7 fraud convictions in December
COLUMBUS - The Ohio Bureau of Workers' Compensation (BWC) secured seven fraud-related convictions in December that included two cases where the convicts had stolen injured workers' benefits from family members.
"Workers' compensation benefits are set aside to help those injured on the job," said BWC Administrator/CEO Sarah Morrison. "Stealing others' workers' comp payments is fraud and another reason BWC dedicates resources to protecting the benefits for deserving Ohioans."
In a case in northwest Ohio, the children of a deceased claimant cashed out their father's BWC benefits for four months following his death in 2014. Cecilia Williams, 36, of Fayette in Fulton County pleaded guilty Dec. 20 to a fifth-degree felony count of workers' compensation fraud. Her sentence is pending a pre-sentence investigation ordered by a Fulton County judge.
BWC's Special Investigations Department (SID) discovered that Williams' father had died in March 2014 but his family failed to notify BWC. The investigation found that BWC benefits continued to be deposited through July 2014 and more than $6,600 were withdrawn from ATMs over that time. Williams admitted to withdrawing the funds using her deceased father's debit card and then providing half of the money to her brother, James Miller.
James Miller is scheduled for pre-trial on Feb. 10.
In another case involving family members, Kelly Clark, 38, of Columbus pleaded guilty to a first-degree misdemeanor count of theft Dec. 15 in a Franklin County courtroom for stealing an elderly relative's BWC check.
Investigators found that Clark, who had been living with the relative, stole the check and cashed it without permission. She was sentenced to 90 days in jail, but received 30 days credited for time served and 60 days suspended as long as she pays $862 in restitution by Sept. 13, 2017.
Other December convictions include:
Muhammad Rashid of Hilliard - Lapsed Coverage
Alfonso R. Hooper of Columbus - Falsifying Wages
Scott A. Dix of Westerville - False Claim
William T. Maguire of Cincinnati - Lapsed Coverage
Angelo Reillo Sr. of Garfield Heights - Working and Receiving
To report suspected cases of workers' compensation fraud, call 1-800-644-6292 or visit bwc.ohio.gov.
Follow BWC on Twitter.
# # #