The owner of a Sandusky roofing company who pleaded guilty to workers’ compensation fraud in September must pay nearly $27,000 in restitution to the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation and serve five years probation, according to his sentence Nov. 9 in the Erie County Court of Common Pleas.
A judge also warned Steve Petrick, Jr., that he would be jailed for six months if he fails to meet the terms of his probation. Besides monthly payments on his restitution, those terms call for Petrick to obtain and maintain full-time verifiable employment within 30 days of his sentencing. He also must obtain written permission from his probation officer before traveling out of state, and he can’t operate a motor vehicle prior to showing proof of a valid driver’s license and insurance to the Erie County Adult Probation Department.
Petrick, owner/operator of Steve Petrick Roofing, caught the attention of BWC’s Special Investigations Department after an anonymous tipster alleged he was operating his business without the required coverage.
BWC’s Employer Compliance Department attempted to assist Petrick with bringing his policy into compliance, but he claimed he had no employees and continued operating his business without coverage.
The case was forwarded to BWC fraud investigators after an injury claim was filed against the policy while the policy was lapsed. The investigation and surveillance proved Petrick Roofing had been in continuous operation with employees. Petrick again failed to come into compliance following an interview with agents.
Petrick pleaded guilty to a fifth-degree felony count of attempted workers’ compensation fraud Sept. 28.
To report suspected cases of workers’ compensation fraud, call 1-800-644-6292 or visit bwc.ohio.gov.