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Funeral home worker convicted of felony comp fraud

Posted On: Jan. 30, 2018 10:48 AM CST

An Ohio man must reimburse the Ohio Bureau of Workers Compensation more than $10,400 after pleading guilty to workers comp fraud Wednesday in a Columbus courtroom.

Bureau investigators conducted surveillance and collected evidence proving Columbus resident Oran Lewis, 66, worked for two different funeral homes in 2015 while collecting disability benefits from the bureau. Mr. Lewis was injured in 2014 while working as a motorcycle escort for funeral processions, the bureau said Friday in a statement.

Mr. Lewis confessed and cooperated with the bureau. A Franklin County Court of Common Pleas judge also sentenced Mr. Lewis to 180 days in jail and one year of probation for the fifth-degree felony, according to the statement.

“It doesn't matter if you're driving a vehicle or doing hard labor, it’s against the law to collect disability benefits from BWC when you're also working and making a living,” Jim Wernecke, Columbus-based director of BWC's special investigations department said in a statement. “What’s more, we're not talking about a one-time incident or occasional odd job here and there. We found Mr. Lewis performing this service 29 times between May and October of 2015.”