BWC wraps three fraud-related cases over the last week
The owner of a Columbus cleaning company who continued to run his business after his workers’ compensation insurance lapsed in 2010 paid more than $43,000 in restitution to the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC) at his court hearing Oct. 18.
Gyorgy Benedek, owner of Maintenance Free Building Services Inc., pleaded guilty to a reduced charge of Failure to Comply after submitting a check to BWC for $43,069 in the Franklin County Court of Common Pleas. The plea followed a BWC investigation that revealed Benedek provided falsified BWC certificates of coverage to land a cleaning contract with another company.
“We got a tip from a company doing business with Mr. Benedek that his BWC certificates looked suspicious, so we checked it out,” said Jim Wernecke, director of BWC’s special investigations department. “We found multiple problems with the certificates indicating Mr. Benedek was attempting to skirt his legal obligation to protect his employees and carry proper insurance.”
Among BWC’s findings:
- Benedek provided three BWC certificates showing the signature of former BWC Administrator/CEO Marsha P. Ryan when it should have been the signature of her successor, Stephen Buehrer.
- The certificates were dated during a period Benedek’s policy was lapsed.
- Benedek reported zero payroll between 2009 and 2015, but a BWC audit found he had more than 30 employees during that time and unreported payroll of more than $650,000.
In two other recent cases, a Canton woman must pay BWC $26,719 in restitution after pleading guilty to a fifth-degree felony charge of workers’ compensation on Oct. 18, and a Cincinnati-area business owner avoided a felony fraud conviction by paying $4,000 in restitution to BWC at his court hearing Oct. 22.
Acting on a tip, BWC investigators found Penny L. Sibila of Canton working as a property manager for an apartment complex from May 11, 2015 to July 27, 2016, while collecting BWC benefits for an injury she suffered in 2014.
Investigators observed Sibila performing several office functions and learned she collected commissions for landing new tenants. They also found she used the alias “Linda” to conceal her return to work from BWC.
In addition to restitution, a Franklin County judge sentenced Sibila to two years of non-reporting probation in lieu of a seven-month jail sentence.
In Hamilton County on Monday (Oct. 22), Frank Krailler of Loveland pleaded guilty to a first-degree misdemeanor count of workers’ compensation fraud after BWC found him operating his business, Transmission Specialists of Montgomery, without BWC coverage.
Krailler paid BWC $4,000 in restitution at his hearing in a Hamilton County court room, but an outstanding balance remains.
To report suspected workers’ compensation fraud, call 1-800-644-6292 or visit bwc.ohio.gov.