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For immediate release: Jan. 19, 2018
Cleaning company owner soils record with fraud conviction
COLUMBUS - The owner of a Hudson, Ohio, cleaning business must serve 30 days under house arrest and pay $14,000 in restitution to the Ohio Bureau of Workers' Compensation after pleading guilty to workers' compensation fraud Jan. 9.
Amanda Joy Klapp, owner of Amanda Joy's Cleaning Company, also must bring her BWC coverage into compliance within 30 days and pay $750 in fines.
"Our agents found Ms. Klapp trying to cheat BWC in a number of ways," said Jim Wernecke, director of BWC's special investigations department. "She had employees when she opened her business in 2013, but she didn't secure BWC coverage until 2015. She then intentionally under-reported her payroll to avoid paying a higher premium. And when she stopped paying her premiums and her policy lapsed, she attempted to take out a new policy using her husband's name to avoid paying the balance owed on her original policy."
Appearing in Stow Municipal Court in Summit County, Klapp pleaded guilty to three first-degree misdemeanor counts of workers' compensation fraud and was fined $500 on each count. The judge suspended half of the fines and 150 days of a 180-day jail sentence, ordering the remaining 30 days to be served under house arrest.
In other news, the bureau secured three fraud-related convictions in December, bringing the total number of convictions in calendar year 2017 to 130.
Eric Payne of Hamilton, Ohio, pleaded guilty Dec. 13, in the Franklin County Court of Common Pleas to a fifth-degree felony count of workers' compensation fraud after BWC agents found him working as a home and building inspector while collecting $8,126 in temporary total disability between February and August 2015. Sentencing is scheduled for Jan. 23.
David Proffitt of Plain City, Ohio, pleaded guilty Dec. 12 to a first-degree misdemeanor count of workers' compensation fraud after investigators found him working as a golf coach while collecting BWC benefits. A Franklin County judge declined to sentence Proffitt or order restitution.
Beth Amirault of Dublin, Ohio, dba A Place to Grow, pleaded guilty Dec. 5 to a second-degree misdemeanor count of failure to comply after investigators found she had been operating her child care center without work comp coverage since 2005. Amirault initially cooperated with BWC to bring her policy back into compliance, then failed to follow through on her reinstatement plan. A Franklin County judge sentenced her to 90 days in jail (suspended), two years of probation and ordered her to pay fines and court costs.
To report suspected workers' compensation fraud, visit www.bwc.ohio.gov or call 1-800-644-6292 and select option "0", then option "4".
Melissa Vince, 614-466-2956 or 614-202-2329, firstname.lastname@example.org
Tony Gottschlich, 614-644-4940 or 614-296-1734, email@example.com
Established in 1912, the Ohio Bureau of Workers' Compensation provides workers' compensation insurance to 244,000 public and private Ohio employers. With nearly 1,900 employees and assets of approximately $27 billion, BWC is the largest state-run insurance system in the United States. Our mission is to protect Ohio's workers and employers through the prevention, care and management of workplace injuries and illnesses at fair rates. For more, visit www.bwc.ohio.gov.
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