An Ohio man pleaded guilty of workers’ compensation fraud after investigators with the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC) Special Investigations Department (SID) found he was working while he was receiving benefits following a workplace injury. Eric Mariol pleaded guilty in Franklin County Common Pleas Court and must repay more than $1,300.
“This system exists to provide much-needed assistance to injured workers so they can recover and return to work,” said BWC Administrator/CEO Steve Buehrer. “The ability to work brings into question the need for those benefits, and diverts money that could be going towards the treatment of other injured workers.”
Mariol was receiving living maintenance benefits and temporary total disability benefits when a cross match with the Ohio Department of Jobs & Family Services indicated he was concurrently receiving wages. SID’s investigation confirmed Mariol was working as a laborer/helper for Brad Bonsky Sheet Metal and Miracle Solutions.
Living maintenance is available to an injured worker who has completed a rehabilitation plan but continues to have physical restrictions and experiences a wage loss upon return to work. Temporary Total Disability is for injured workers who are totally disabled from work for a short period of time due to a work-related injury or occupational disease. Injured workers are not permitted to work while receiving these benefits.
Mariol pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor count of workers’ compensation fraud Oct. 22. Judge Pollitt ordered Mariol to pay restitution in the amount of $1,322.88 by April 30, 2014. He will serve 30 days at the Franklin County Corrections Center if he fails to make full restitution. Additionally, Mariol was ordered to pay a $250 fine and serve 72 hours of community service.
Source: Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation
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