Former W. Va. Workers’ Comp Employee Enters Plea

December 21, 2004

A former claims manager of the West Virginia Workers’ Compensation Commission has pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor in connection with a scheme to refer injured workers to a Pennsylvania rehabilitation company.

Denise Miller pleaded guilty to a charge of “accepting an unlawful reward for past behavior” on Dec. 17 before Kanawha County Circuit Court Judge Jennifer Bailey Walker. Miller faces up to 12 months in jail and/or a fine of up to $5,000.

A hearing is scheduled at 1:30 p.m. Feb. 25.

The Commission terminated Miller in August as part of an ongoing criminal investigation by its Fraud & Abuse unit.

“The process that led to this plea has been part of our ongoing effort to rid the Commission of certain problems that have existed historically,” Executive Director Gregory Burton said. “We expect all members of our team to perform to the highest professional and ethical standards.”

Miller reportedly made referrals of injured workers, “in exchange for payment of either $50 or $75 per claim, depending on the value of the claim,” according to an affidavit for the criminal complaint against Miller.

Kanawha County Prosecutor Michael Clifford filed the charge against Miller as an “information” in November. According to the information, the incidents involving Miller occurred around June 2002.

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