With mother in nursing home, daughter used benefits card to buy drugs
A Cincinnati woman who stole her disabled mother’s workers’ compensation benefits to support her drug habit must pay $26,170 in restitution to her mother and the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC), a Hamilton County Common Pleas judge ruled Sept. 21.
Shawna R. Jessee, 48, also must serve 180 days in the Hamilton County Justice Center’s extended drug treatment program for women, minus 72 days credit for time already served. She must serve five years probation, submit to random drug screenings and serve 18 months in prison if she fails a drug screening or terms of her probation.
“We know drug addiction is a serious health issue tearing at the fabric of our society, but we can’t tolerate the theft or misuse of funds that belong to our injured workers,” said BWC Administrator/CEO Sarah Morrison.
BWC’s Special Investigations Department started looking at Jessee after a BWC claims specialist couldn’t reach Jessee’s mother. Investigators found the mother living at a local nursing home and discovered Jessee had been using her mother’s benefits card to withdraw money without her mother’s consent.
Jessee pleaded guilty Aug. 17 to a fourth-degree felony count of workers’ compensation fraud. She must pay $18,724 in restitution to her mother and $7,446 to BWC.
To report suspected cases of workers’ compensation fraud, call 1-800-644-6292 or visit bwc.ohio.gov.