Two Ohio employers convicted on charges related to workers’ comp fraud

A Columbus painter and a southern Ohio restaurant owner were convicted last month on charges related to workers compensation fraud, one for forgery and both involving lapsed coverage.

Investigators with the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation say Patrick H. Green of Columbus (Franklin County) forged documents to make it appear his business, Pat’s Custom Painting, was current in its workers’ compensation insurance when the policy was lapsed.

In an interview with BWC Employer Fraud Team agents, Green admitted to having a friend alter his BWC certificate so he could prove coverage to a vendor and receive payment for services he had rendered. Agents also pressed him about a second BWC policy they found under the name Jodi Green, DBA Custom Color Finishes, at the same address as Pat’s Custom Painting. Green said he had his then-wife apply for the coverage under a different business name so he could obtain a valid BWC certificate and avoid the debt he owed on his lapsed policy.

Green was convicted on a fifth-degree felony forgery count and sentenced April 25 in Franklin County Common Pleas Court to 6 months in prison, which was suspended for two years community control.

In another case, BWC investigators say they warned Fork and Finger Café owner William Harmon five times that his workers compensation insurance had lapsed, but the Portsmouth (Scioto County) businessman failed to bring his policy back into compliance.

Harmon was indicted in May 2014 on 10 counts of workers compensation fraud, nine of them fifth-degree felonies and one count a first-degree misdemeanor. After taking steps to become compliant, Harmon pleaded guilty to the first-degree misdemeanor.

He was sentenced last month in Scioto Common Pleas Court to two years of probation, 90 days incarceration (suspended) and ordered to pay monthly installments to the BWC per an agreement he made with the Attorney General’s Office. He was also was ordered to keep current on all workers compensation obligations while maintaining an active workers’ compensation certificate.

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