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Ohio woman must repay $94,000 in comp benefits after pleading guilty to fraud

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An Ohio woman has been ordered to pay nearly $94,000 in restitution for working while collecting workers compensation benefits, the Ohio Bureau of Workers' Compensation said Friday.

The bureau said in a statement that its special investigations department began investigating Zelma Forro, who was on permanent total disability following an occupational injury, after receiving an anonymous tip.

Thanks to financial records, surveillance operations and field interviews, the department found that Ms. Forro was collecting benefits while working as an independent contractor for a Youngstown, Ohio-based community bank, Home Savings & Loan, assessing distressed properties and completing property inspections, among other things, according to the statement.

She pleaded guilty to workers comp fraud in the Mahoning County Court of Common Pleas in January, and she was sentenced last month to 18 months in jail and suspended for three years of community control under the condition that she repay Ohio's monopoly workers comp insurer $93,912.24, the statement says.