A Mandan, N.D., man was ordered to pay $54,679 in restitution to Workforce Safety & Insurance after pleading guilty to fraud in South Central District Court Dec. 16, according to a statement released by the North Dakota Department of Insurance.
Melvin Fleck, 53, was also sentenced to five years of supervised probation on the Class C felony. In addition, District Court Judge Benny Graff ordered that Fleck seek employment, not the leave the state of North Dakota without permission of his probation officer, not possess any firearms and pay a supervision fee to the state probation division. Fleck faces a five-year prison sentence and a $5,000 fine if he violates the terms of his probation.
In the original complaint, WSI said it determined that Fleck had “willfully made false statements” on his Injured Worker Status Reports and willfully made false statements regarding his income to WSI. Fleck was receiving lost time benefits because of a 1992 lower back injury. In August 1999, WSI’s Special Investigation Unit received an anonymous fraud hotline report that Fleck was working and receiving income while collecting WSI benefits.
A subsequent investigation revealed that Fleck was working and operating an automotive business and earning income. Fleck had repeatedly falsely reported to WSI that he was not working or earning income. His workers’ compensation benefits were terminated in April 2001. A complaint was filed in Morton County District Court in November 2003.
WSI was tipped off about Fleck through its fraud hotline. Anyone wishing to report suspected worker’s compensation fraud may call (800) 243-3331 or visit their Web site. Callers and Web users may remain anonymous.
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