Caught Working

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Closeup rear low angle view of an early 60's senior gentleman having some back pain. He's at doctor's office having medical examination by a male doctor. The patient is pointing to his lumbar region.

Sometimes it’s a bad thing for people to see you working. Such was the case of a former deputy sheriff in Zanesville, Ohio, who is facing a hefty fine after defrauding the state Workers’ Compensation program.

The 56-year-old man apparently filed the claim regarding his deputy sheriff’s job. Only when he was supposedly too injured to work—and collecting benefits—he was caught working on the side. Acting on a tip, investigators discovered he worked as a process server and investigator for several area law firms (Like that wouldn’t make it back to the courthouse) from 2007 to 2016. The man also was found to have worked as a truck driver and a laborer for a local retail store, while collecting benefits.  

The Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation administrator said the man “knowingly and with fraudulent intent deceived our agency and his physicians.” Now, he has to pay the bureau nearly $235,000 in restitution and investigative costs and he has a felony conviction. (Making obtaining future work more difficult). A judge ordered him to four years of probation in lieu of a year in jail.

Today’s Fraud of the Day is based on an article in The Daily Jeff, “Former Muskingum County deputy owes Workers Compensation $235K,” on Sept. 22, 2019.

COLUMBUS — A Zanesville man and former county deputy sheriff must reimburse the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation nearly $235,000 in restitution following his felony conviction for workers’ compensation fraud Monday in a Franklin County courtroom.

A judge ordered Gregory A. Fitzer, 56, to pay BWC $211,536 in restitution and $23,187 in investigative costs after Fitzer pleaded guilty to a fourth-degree felony charge of workers’ compensation fraud. She also ordered the former Muskingum County deputy sheriff to serve four years of probation in lieu of a year in jail.

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Larry Benson
Larry Benson is currently the Director of Strategic Alliances for Revenue Discovery and Recovery at LexisNexis Risk Solutions. In this role, Benson is responsible for developing partnerships for the tax and revenue and child support enforcement verticals. He focuses on embedded companies that have a need for third-party analytics to enhance their current offerings.