W.Va. Indicts Employer, Employee for Workers’ Compensation Fraud

October 12, 2005

West Virginia Insurance Commissioner, Jane L. Cline, announced one employer, Brett A. Starr was indicted last month by a Kanawha County Grand Jury on the felony offense of Workers’ Compensation Fraud. At the same time the commissioner announced an employee, Jason C. Davenport was apprehended for filing false claims.

Starr, of Harrisville in Ritchie County, is charged with having employees in 2002, but failing to subscribe to the Workers’ Compensation Fund as required by law. An employee who was injured on a construction job made a claim for benefits and an investigation followed.

Davenport, of Strange Creek in Braxton County, is charged with filing reports of work-related injuries in January of 2003 and May of 2004; however, an investigation revealed that he was not employed at the time. Davenport sought treatment for his injuries at Summersville Memorial Hospital in Nicholas County. Davenport’s arraignment is set for Oct. 17 in Charleston.

“The Workers” Compensation Fund provides medical, disability and rehabilitation benefits to workers who suffer injury or disease in the course of and resulting from their covered employment” Cline said. “West Virginia employers who fail to subscribe, or fail to make timely and accurate reports and payments may have their business licenses revoked, and may be subject to civil suit, injunction action and criminal prosecution.”

Persons who fraudulently secure benefits from the Workers’ Compensation Fund, or who file false reports or give false testimony are subject to criminal prosecution. Employers may also be prosecuted for failure to make timely and accurate reports and payments. Penalties include fines of up to ten thousand dollars, and/or imprisonment for up to ten years, depending on the charge.

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