Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC) announced seven individuals were convicted of or pleaded guilty to charges related to defrauding Ohio’s workers’ compensation system during the month of January.
The court actions are the result of investigations conducted by BWC’s Special Investigations Department (SID), which works to deter, detect, investigate, and prosecute workers’ compensation fraud.
Following is a sampling of cases that resulted in a guilty plea or conviction during the month of January.
- Nancy Madewell, dba Bagel Café Inc., pleaded guilty to three counts of failure to comply for operating her business without workers’ compensation coverage. Madewell was sentenced to 60 days in jail suspended on the condition of not violating her three year, unsupervised probation.
- Jose Ramirez was sentenced to one felony count of workers’ compensation fraud for working while receiving benefits. SID opened an investigation after receiving an allegation that Ramirez was working on cars on his driveway. The investigation found that Ramirez was working for a transmission repair service from while in receiving temporary total disability benefits. Ramirez worked up to four days per week and was paid in cash. Ramirez pleaded guilty and will be sentenced March 2.
- Mitchell Oakley pleaded guilty to one count of workers’ compensation fraud for filing a false claim. Oakley filed a claim indicating he was injured on his first day of work for an employer, however, SID found that Oakley was actually injured moving boxes at home prior to his employment. Oakley was sentenced in Lima Municipal Court to 30 days suspended jail and must repay $150 in court costs.
- Victoria Hall was sentenced to a felony count of workers’ compensation fraud for working while receiving benefits. SID investigators obtained undercover surveillance video showing her working at a convenience store while receiving temporary total disability benefits. Hall was previously injured at the same gas station and returned to work there after the gas station was under a different name and owner. Hall was sentenced to three years of community control and ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $7,754.97 and investigative costs of $1,000.
- Nancy Palmer was sentenced to a felony count of workers’ compensation fraud for working while receiving benefits. SID received an allegation that Palmer had been working at a local veterinary hospital. Investigators found she had returned to work as a veterinary assistant while receiving Temporary Total Disability benefits. It was also found that Palmer was working as a telephone solicitor for a local charity. Palmer entered a guilty plea and the judge ordered her to pay $7,457.72 in restitution and $1,000 for investigative costs. She was also sentenced to seven months in prison, suspended for eighteen months of community control.
- Randall Schornack was sentenced to a felony count of workers’ compensation fraud for working while receiving benefits. SID received an anonymous tip on the fraud hotline that Schornack was working as a disc jockey at area bars under the name “DJ Randy Stevens.” SID’s investigation determined that Schornack was working as a DJ for several bars in Mayfield and also for a professional DJ service in Girard while receiving temporary total disability benefits. The SID obtained video of Schornack unloading and carrying speakers and other equipment from his vehicle into different establishments on a weekly basis and performing work services as a DJ. Schornack was ordered to pay $27,202.62 in restitution He was also sentenced to 18 months in prison, suspended for five years of community control.
Source: Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation
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