People who commit workers’ compensation fraud are either trying to steal from the system or avoid paying the necessary premiums for their employees’ coverage. These unscrupulous individuals don’t realize just how serious their crimes are, until they are caught. (Then it’s too late.)
Today’s fraudster is an Ohio lawyer, who learned this lesson the hard way. The man had to pay the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC) nearly $1 million after pleading guilty to committing fraud against the state benefits program.
Under Ohio law, any business that employs even one person must carry workers’ compensation insurance. In today’s case, the attorney owned a residential cleaning company in Westlake that he had not paid the premiums on since 2003 – even while Workers’ Comp picked up the costs of 43 injury claims from his company. (Did he really think they wouldn’t notice the premiums hadn’t been paid?). He admitted to refusing to cooperate with the BWC and pleaded guilty to a felony charge of fraud.
He “owes at least $965,000 in unpaid premiums and for the costs of injured worker claims that occurred while his policy was lapsed,” the head of the program said in a statement. “If he had just followed the law and paid his premiums, he wouldn’t be in this trouble today.” (Words of wisdom for anyone contemplating doing the same thing.)
Today’s Fraud of the Day comes from the article, “Nearly $1 Million Owed OH BWC in Employment Fraud Case,” published Oct. 6, 2019 in workerscompensation.com.
Columbus, OH (WorkersCompensation.com) – A northeast Ohio business owner owes the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation nearly $1 million in restitution following his conviction Monday in Cleveland on workers’ compensation fraud charges.
Robert E. Fitz, an attorney and owner of Action Maids residential cleaning company in Westlake, Ohio, pleaded guilty to a fourth-degree felony charge of workers’ compensation fraud after refusing to cooperate with BWC to bring his lapsed policy into compliance.