Cleveland-area business owner convicted of fraud Monday
A northeast Ohio business owner owes the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation nearly $1 million in restitution following his conviction Monday in Cleveland on workers’ compensation fraud charges.
Robert E. Fitz, an attorney and owner of Action Maids residential cleaning company in Westlake, Ohio, pleaded guilty to a fourth-degree felony charge of workers’ compensation fraud after refusing to cooperate with BWC to bring his lapsed policy into compliance.
“Mr. Fitz owes at least $965,000 in unpaid premiums and for the costs of injured worker claims that occurred while his policy was lapsed,” said BWC Administrator/CEO Stephanie McCloud. “If he had just followed the law and paid his premiums, he wouldn’t be in this trouble today.”
At his conviction hearing in the Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas, Fitz agreed to work with BWC and the Ohio Attorney General’s Office to provide his company’s financial reports and enter a reinstatement payment plan prior to his sentencing date of Nov. 4.
According to BWC’s Special Investigation Department, Fitz’s BWC policy has been lapsed since Sept. 1, 2003. Since then, BWC has picked up the costs on 43 injury claims, including five since 2014.
In other fraud news, a northeast Ohio man must pay BWC nearly $79,000 in restitution after pleading guilty to a fifth-degree felony charge of workers’ compensation fraud Tuesday in a Franklin County courtroom.
Ronald J. Dorfeld of Brunswick, Ohio, must pay BWC $78,957 and serve five years of probation in lieu of a nine-month jail sentence for working while collecting BWC disability benefits.
To report suspected workers’ compensation fraud, call 1-800-644-6292 or visit bwc.ohio.gov.