A Brooksville, Ky. man pleaded guilty to theft and has been sentenced in connection with working while receiving workers’ comp benefits from the city of Cincinnati.
The Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC) assisted Cincinnati, a self-insured employer, with its investigation of Stephen Byrne, who pleaded guilty in the Hamilton County Court of Common Pleas Aug. 15.
“We’re pleased we were able to help the city of Cincinnati bring Byrne to justice, and help recover the money he improperly received,” said Steve Buehrer, BWC Administrator/CEO. “Many self-insured employers are not aware our investigators can assist them in uncovering fraud, so we encourage them to utilize our services when fraud is suspected.”
BWC’s Special Investigations Department began an investigation after receiving an allegation that Byrne was working for a towing and recovery business while receiving workers’ comp benefits. Investigators found that Byrne did indeed perform shop cleanup work for the business, as well as rehab work on rental properties during the time he applied for and was awarded working wage loss and temporary total benefits from the city of Cincinnati.
Temporary total disability is for claimants who are totally disabled from work for a short period of time due to a work-related injury or occupational disease. Working wage loss is paid to injured workers who return to employment that’s different from their former positions, including different job duties, a different employer, less hours and less pay resulting from physical restrictions.
Byrne pleaded guilty to one count of theft, a first-degree misdemeanor, and was sentenced to a year of community control and 100 hours of community service. He was also ordered to pay restitution and maintain employment. Byrne paid the full restitution amount of $14,774.15 to the city of Cincinnati.
Source: Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation
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