BWC calls foul on Cleveland youth basketball coach

Coach convicted of workers’ comp fraud Wednesday

A basketball coach in Cleveland must reimburse the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC) more than $4,000 after the agency’s investigators found her working while collecting injured-worker benefits.

Christine Estrict, aka Christina Estrict, pleaded guilty to a first-degree misdemeanor count of workers’ compensation fraud Wednesday in the Franklin County Court of Common Pleas. A judge sentenced her to 180 days in jail, then suspended the sentence for five years of probation. He ordered her to pay BWC $4,156 in restitution.

“We received an anonymous tip in 2016 that Ms. Estrict was working as a paid referee while receiving BWC benefits, which is against state law,” said Jim Wernecke, director of BWC’s special investigations department. “Our investigation found her working as a basketball coach in Beachwood City Schools and also as a coach and athletic director for a charter school.”

In other news, a former Ohioan now living in Florida pleaded guilty Wednesday to a fifth-degree felony count of workers’ compensation fraud after BWC found him working as a truck driver in 2015 while collecting BWC benefits.

A Franklin County judge ruled Glenn J. Miller III, 44, must serve three years of probation and pay BWC $16,000 in restitution.

Also this week, a Dayton-area business owner who owed BWC more than $190,000 in back premiums this year avoided jail time Monday when a judge fined him $250 for failing to comply with Ohio law requiring him to carry workers’ compensation coverage.

A Kettering Municipal Court judge suspended his 30-day jail sentence for Randall Mount, the owner of Ram Restoration in Centerville, and sentenced Mount to two years non-reporting probation instead. Mount and BWC informed the court that Mount is in a repayment plan with BWC and the agency had reinstated his coverage Aug. 13.

Mount’s business remediates water, fire and mold damage and performs other construction work, according to its website.

To report suspected workers’ compensation fraud, call 1-800-644-6292 or visit bwc.ohio.gov.

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