A Ohio man was ordered to pay more than $19,000 in workers’ compensation restitution in connection with working while receiving workplace injury benefits. Patrick Woods, formerly of Chillicothe (Ross County), pleaded guilty June 5 in Ross County Court of Common Pleas to one count of workers’ compensation fraud, a fifth-degree felony, and was sentenced July 17.
“Misrepresenting work activity to the agency is one way some claimants attempt to commit workers’ compensation fraud,” said BWC Administrator/CEO Steve Buehrer. “In fact, it is one of the more common types of fraud we’ve seen in the 61,000 cases our Special Investigations Department has closed since its founding 21 years ago.”
BWC’s special investigations unit received an allegation that Woods was operating his own heating, ventilation and air conditioning company, and repairing heating and cooling units in hotels while receiving workers’ compensation benefits.
Investigators reviewed bank records and conducted business interviews, all of which proved Woods was working as a self-employed HVAC technician since September 2008 while receiving benefits, but not reporting this work activity to BWC.
Woods was sentenced to serve 11 months through the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Corrections, which was suspended. He was placed on three years of community control in lieu of prison time. He must pay $19,739 in restitution to the BWC and court costs. Woods was given 21 days in jail to be served intermittently within six months. He was also ordered to perform 200 hours of community service within 12 months.
Source: Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation Fraud
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