Oklahoma Co-Workers Charged with Workers’ Compensation Fraud

April 3, 2013

Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt’s Workers’ Compensation Fraud Unit has filed charges against three co-workers from Tulsa.

Andrew Ozias, 21, Joshua Duckworth, 24, and Nathaniel McAlexander, 35, were each charged with one count of workers’ compensation fraud. All three allegedly misrepresented the facts and circumstances related to the cause of their workplace injuries during their depositions.

According to the charges filed in Tulsa County District Court, Ozias, Duckworth and McAlexander, all filed workers’ compensation claims in December 2011, alleging they were burned by a flash fire from a leaking gas torch while at work.

When a supervisor and a manager from the equipment company examined the scene, they found no gas tank leak, no sign of a fire or disturbance, and everything was in proper working order. Both stated that if there had been a leak, there would’ve been a distinct odor and the area nearby would’ve been covered with an oily soot residue.

A fourth person working near the three men that night didn’t hear an explosion or see a fire. He also saw no evidence of an accident.

Following the alleged accident, another supervisor found a soot covered lighter, a pressure tank that stored gas, balloon fragments, a burned plastic container and hollow golf balls outside near the company’s northwest entrance. During an inspection of employee lockers, employers found fireworks, a golf ball with a fuse inside, balloons and several hollow golf balls in McAlexander’s locker. During an interview with investigators, McAlexander identified the items.

The Attorney General’s Workers’ Compensation Fraud Unit is the only Oklahoma law enforcement agency dedicated to the investigation and prosecution of workers’ compensation fraud. The Unit also helps raise public awareness of fraud in Oklahoma.

Source: Oklahoma Attorney General Workers’ Compensation Fraud Unit

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