James Miller of West Salem (Wayne County) recently pleaded guilty to workers’ compensation and social security fraud and has been ordered to repay more than $30,000.
BWC’s Special Investigations Department began investigating Miller after receiving an allegation that he was working as a realtor while receiving living maintenance wage loss statements. This benefit is available to an injured worker who has completed a rehabilitation plan but continues to have physical restrictions and experiences a wage loss upon return to work.
Internet research showed Miller had listings and recent sales with Howard Hanna and employment and bank records revealed he had received numerous paychecks from the company. However, he had been submitting paperwork to BWC showing he had no earnings.
Miller admitted to earning the money as a realtor but claimed that his expenses as a realtor were so great that he earned $0. However, as part of his benefits, BWC had paid for these expenses previously and were not out-of-pocket expenses to Miller. Additionally, it was discovered that Miller was receiving monthly benefits from the Social Security Administration (SSA).
Miller entered a guilty plea to two felony counts of theft and two felony counts of tampering with records in an Ashland County courtroom. The plea represents two counts for BWC and two for SSA.
The judge sentenced Miller to 150 days of house arrest with GPS monitoring for each count, which will run concurrently. Additionally, Miller will serve four years of probation supervision and 250 hours of community service. Conditions of community control include the payment of restitution to BWC in the amount of $11,081.68 and $20,878.79 to the SSA. Miller was also ordered to pay a fine of $ 1,000.
He will face 18 months of prison time if he fails to abide by the sanctions imposed by the court.