The West Virginia Workers’ Compensation Commission recently received two checks totaling nearly $320,000 in restitution resulting from recent convictions in U.S. District Court in Charleston.
“This is the most money we have been able to secure at any one time,” Mike Jordan, inspector general for the Commission, remarked. “Our employees spent hundreds of hours on this case, particularly Lisa Prater, the manager in the Fraud & Abuse Investigations Unit, and Vickie Neal, who is no longer with the Commission. Their investigations were the catalysts that brought this restitution about.”
The Commission received a restitution check in the amount of $80,580.59 from Victor Dibartolo and a second check for $238,195.88 from Sherpa Software Group, formerly known as Ciscorp. The two checks represent about half of the $635,270 total restitution ordered in the case by U.S. District Judge John Copenhaver Jr.
Prater and Neal worked full time on the investigation for about 18 months.
Dibartolo pleaded guilty May 17 to one count of mail fraud from the original 11-count indictment and one count of engaging in a monetary transaction in property derived from a specified unlawful activity. He was sentenced to 20 months in prison and ordered to pay $83,005 in restitution.
The company also pleaded guilty to one count of mail fraud from the original 11-count indictment. It was sentenced to a one-year probationary period and ordered to pay $552,265 in restitution.
The investigation centered around allegations that Dibartolo and Ciscorp submitted false invoices for payment to the Workers’ Compensation Commission for work that had not been completed.
“The success of this case resulted from a team effort of employees throughout the Commission to added their time, advice, knowledge and record-keeping skills to the investigation,” said Executive Director Gregory Burton. “This is a great victory for the Commission and for the state of West Virginia.”
The case was prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office’s Hunter Smith and represented a cooperative effort of state and federal agencies. Steven Rowley of the Internal Revenue Service was lead investigator.
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