Fraud of the Day during Fraud Awareness Week

By Jeff Baker, BWC Special Investigations Department When the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC) created its Special Investigations Department (SID) in 1993, investigative professionals in the new department knew they would need to do more than detect, identify and investigate suspected workers’ compensation fraud. To fully meet the department’s mandate and mission, SID professionals would need to also deter fraud. We felt one of the most … Continue reading Fraud of the Day during Fraud Awareness Week

A letter from Jim Wernecke – Director of BWC Special Investigations

As Director of the BWC Special Investigations Department (SID), I am honored to kick off Fraud Awareness Week. I invite you to view my video message, “Fraud Hurts Us All.” In the video I discuss how workers’ compensation fraud increases premiums for employers, which reduces the money employers can invest in their employees, community and … Continue reading A letter from Jim Wernecke – Director of BWC Special Investigations

Northeast Ohio business owners owe BWC nearly $1.3 million following fraud convictions

Two northeast Ohio businessmen must pay the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC) nearly $1.3 million in restitution following their recent convictions on multiple fraud charges in separate, unrelated cases. “We look forward to recouping these dollars and directing them where they belong — taking care of injured workers, creating safe workplaces, and giving employers … Continue reading Northeast Ohio business owners owe BWC nearly $1.3 million following fraud convictions

Cincinnati caterer convicted of workers’ comp fraud

Woman ran catering business while collecting disability benefits A Cincinnati woman claiming to be permanently disabled from work owes the Ohio Bureau of Workers' Compensation (BWC) nearly $41,000 after her felony conviction Oct. 24 for workers’ compensation fraud. Michelle D. Smith, 57, pleaded guilty to the fifth-degree felony in the Franklin County Common Pleas Court … Continue reading Cincinnati caterer convicted of workers’ comp fraud

Nearly $1 million owed BWC in employer fraud case

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 … Continue reading Nearly $1 million owed BWC in employer fraud case

Special investigations department concludes FY 2019 with impressive results

By Jim Wernecke, Director, BWC Special Investigations Department It’s getting harder and harder for the criminally minded to rip off BWC and the State Insurance Fund and get away with it. That was the message I took to BWC’s board of directors Thursday afternoon when I presented the board with the Special Investigations Department’s annual … Continue reading Special investigations department concludes FY 2019 with impressive results

Former deputy sheriff owes BWC $235K for workers’ comp fraud

Zanesville man earns felon status after Monday’s conviction A Zanesville man and former county deputy sheriff must reimburse the Ohio Bureau of Workers' Compensation nearly $235,000 in restitution following his felony conviction for workers’ compensation fraud Monday in a Franklin County courtroom. A judge ordered Gregory A. Fitzer, 56, to pay BWC $211,536 in restitution … Continue reading Former deputy sheriff owes BWC $235K for workers’ comp fraud

Akron business owner convicted of manslaughter, workers’ comp fraud

Company has history of worker injuries, noncompliance with BWC The owner of an Akron construction company pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter July 24 after one of his workers fell to his death in late 2017. James D. Coon, the owner of James Coon Construction, also pleaded guilty in a Summit County courtroom to a fourth-degree … Continue reading Akron business owner convicted of manslaughter, workers’ comp fraud

BWC reports 4 fraud-related convictions in June

Four Ohioans were convicted for workers’ compensation fraud or related charges in June, including a Springfield man who must reimburse the Ohio Bureau of Workers' Compensation (BWC) more than $13,000 after investigators found him working two jobs while collecting disability benefits. Clark A. Howard pleaded guilty June 18 to a fifth-degree felony count of workers’ … Continue reading BWC reports 4 fraud-related convictions in June

Toledo contractor owes BWC $57K following fraud conviction

Lapsed policy, refusal to cooperate costs Holland man By Tony Gottschlich, BWC Public Information Officer A Toledo-area contractor owes the Ohio Bureau of Workers' Compensation (BWC) nearly $57,000 in restitution after pleading guilty to workers’ compensation fraud in a Toledo courtroom last month. Eric L. Hughes, 53, of Holland, pleaded guilty to a fourth-degree felony … Continue reading Toledo contractor owes BWC $57K following fraud conviction