An Ohio man pleaded guilty to workers’ compensation fraud after investigators with the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC) Special Investigations Department (SID) found he was working while receiving benefits following a workplace injury. Richard Matt pleaded guilty in Franklin County Common Pleas Court and must repay more than $3,400.
“The purpose of temporary disability is to assist those who are unable to return to work, so any wages reported for Mr. Matt caused immediate concern,” said BWC Administrator/CEO Steve Buehrer. “Fortunately, our Intelligence Unit is able to proactively identify potential fraud in cases like this even when we’ve received no allegation or other indication of wrongdoing.”
Matt was receiving 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 found Matt was employed as a sales broker for Music Blast/Beverage Plus based in Las Vegas, Nev. Company records confirmed Matt was working during the period of time in which he was also receiving workplace injury benefits from the BWC.
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.
Matt pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor count of workers’ compensation fraud Oct. 28. Judge Sheward ordered Matt to pay restitution in the amount of $3,421.34 by Oct. 28, 2014. He will serve 180 days at the Franklin County Corrections Center if he fails to make full restitution. Matt made a restitution payment of $500 at his sentencing.
Source: Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation
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