Okla. Man Sentenced in Comp Case

September 19, 2006

An Elk City, Okla. man was ordered to pay more than $20,000 in restitution after pleading guilty to two felony counts of workers’ compensation fraud in Oklahoma County District Court, the state attorney general’s office announced.

Brian W. Walton, 26, was an employee of Western X-Ray in Seiling on June 23, 2004, when he claimed he injured his left shoulder jumping off a truck.

“Walton made no mention, either to his doctor or to his employer, of the fact that he had previously received medical treatment for injuries he sustained in a motorcycle accident,” Attorney General Drew Edmondson said in the announcement. “When Walton’s medical records were reviewed, it was revealed that he had been treated repeatedly for an injured left shoulder beginning in April 2004. Emergency room records show that injury was caused by the motorcycle accident – not by anything he did on the job.”

The second count against Walton alleges he illegally worked at Sears while receiving temporary total disability benefits for his shoulder.

“Mr. Walton received regular disability payments for his workers’ compensation claim,” Edmondson said. “In the meantime, he managed to earn more than $3,000 from a part-time job as a Sears delivery man. Under the law, you simply cannot be paid for ‘total disability’ and be paid to work elsewhere.”

Walton was ordered today to pay $20,300 in restitution to Western X-Ray’s insurance company, American Interstate Insurance Company. He was also ordered to serve a 10-year suspended sentence and pay court costs.

Walton was convicted on unrelated charges in Beckham County District Court on Sept. 7, 2005, of one count of obtaining money or property by trick or deception, three counts of obtaining property or money by false pretenses, one count of embezzlement, and one count of false declaration of ownership. He was sentenced to five years on each count, and an additional year for one count of obtaining cash or merchandise by bogus check.

He was also convicted in Latimer County on Jan. 18, 2006, on one count each of uttering a forged instrument and second degree burglary. He was sentenced to seven years per count with those sentences to run concurrently.

The sentences for Beckham and Latimer County will run concurrently. The Oklahoma County sentence will run consecutive to the Latimer and Beckham County sentences.

The Oklahoma County charges against Walton were filed Jan. 10, 2006, after an investigation by Edmondson’s Workers’ Compensation and Insurance Fraud Unit. Edmondson’s Workers’ Compensation and Insurance Fraud Unit has statewide jurisdiction to investigate and prosecute workers’ compensation fraud. Anyone with information regarding workers’ compensation fraud can call the attorney general’s workers’ compensation fraud hotline toll-free at (877) 800-8764.

Source: Oklahoma Attorney General’s Office

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