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Ohio man worked 3 jobs while on workers' compensation

Some people in Ohio defraud the Bureau of Workers’ Compensation by holding a job while still collecting workers’ comp benefits, which is against the law. One Ohio fire chief who was receiving benefits for a work-related injury was particularly busy, according to a press release.

Late last month, the man pleaded guilty to workers’ compensation fraud and paid more than $25,000 in restitution and investigative costs to BWC. The agency says an investigation revealed he was working three jobs while supposedly unable to work. He had previously been approved for temporary total disability benefits due to an unspecified injury.

It appears his condition improved to the point that he was able to serve as fire chief for Bokecreek Townwship in Logan County; fire safety coordinator for York Township in the same county; and as a certified water inspector for Midwest Express.

BWC’s administrator/CEO noted that the benefits the man received are meant to last only as long as necessary to allow workplace injury victims to recover and return to work. Workers’ compensation funds are not unlimited, which is why the agency pursued restitution in court.

In addition to the payment, which the man made in full prior to pleading guilty, the man will serve six months under community control. He could serve six months in jail instead if he commits another crime or fails to pay court costs.

While relatively few Ohioans try to cheat the system in this way, the consequences for employers are serious enough that vigilance is required.

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