Photographer Ordered to Repay More Than $60,000 in Workers’ Comp Benefits

An Ohio man was ordered to repay more than $60,000 to the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC) for working while receiving workers’ comp benefits. Elvin Hamilton pleaded guilty Nov. 22 to one count of workers’ compensation fraud, a fifth-degree felony.

“Mr. Hamilton took pictures for companies, athletic organizations, government entities and private individuals while receiving temporary total benefits – and that’s not permitted,” said BWC Administrator/CEO Steve Buehrer. “His blatant activities were discovered and we’re pleased that more than $60,000 will be returned to BWC. We’ll use that money to care for injured workers and help them get back on their feet.”

An investigation began following a claims service specialist’s tip to the Special Investigations Department that Hamilton may have a side photography business. Investigators found that he operated Hamilton Photography while receiving temporary total disability benefits from 2010 to 2013. Bank records revealed more than 1,000 checks were deposited into his personal and business checking accounts, and an analysis found that the average monthly deposits for the photography business totaled approximately $4,200 over multiple months’ time.

Temporary total compensation is for injured workers who are completely disabled from work for a short period of time due to work-related injuries or occupational diseases. Injured workers aren’t allowed to work while receiving these benefits.

The Ohio Attorney General filed a bill of information on Nov. 22 in Franklin County Common Pleas Court, charging Hamilton with workers’ comp fraud. Hamilton was found guilty and placed on community control for five years with conditions that he obtain and maintain employment and not obtain any new convictions. If he violates those terms, he’ll serve six months at the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction. Hamilton was also ordered to pay $63,196.35 in restitution to BWC. His supervision was transferred to Greene County.

Source: Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation