A Ohio man has been sentenced for fraud following an Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC) investigation that revealed his work as a chef while receiving workers’ compensation benefits.
Jean-Michel Matos must repay $17,188.86 he collected while working and simultaneously receiving benefits for a workplace injury.
“Signs of wrongdoing can become visible at many points both inside and outside of BWC and in this case, our staff working with employers recognized the red flags,” said BWC Administrator/CEO Steve Buehrer. “This case serves as a reminder to anyone committing fraud against the workers’ compensation system that there are several ways you can raise suspicion without knowing it.”
BWC’s Special Investigations Department (SID) received an allegation from a customer service specialist who suspected that Matos may be working as a chef, a violation of the rules associated with receiving temporary total disability benefits. BWC agents conducted an undercover operation at one of Matos’ events and confirmed he was working as a chef and learned he worked an additional nine events over a five month period.
Matos pleaded guilty and was sentenced Feb. 15 in a Franklin County courtroom to a fifth degree felony count of theft. He was sentenced to community control for a five year period and will serve eight months in the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction if he violates the terms. He was also ordered Matos to pay the $17,000 in restitution to BWC.
Source: Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation
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