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The Ohio Bureau of Workers Compensation said Friday it has secured seven convictions in July of employers and injured workers who attempted workers comp fraud.
The year’s total convictions for BWC’s special investigations department is 90, the bureau said in a statement.
The convictions included Niles, Ohio-based Robert Leonard who was found guilty of one misdemeanor count of attempted workers comp fraud and his restaurant guilty of a fourth-degree felony count of workers comp fraud. Lima, Ohio-based Donna Roethlisberger pleaded guilty to two counts of tampering with records after investigators found she obtained BWC certificates of coverage under her employees’ names without their knowledge, the bureau said in a statement.
Additionally, Titusville, Florida-based Joseph Stewart pleaded guilty to one count of workers comp fraud after investigators found him assembling countertops, kitchen cabinets and a display case for a market in Toledo while collecting temporary total disability benefits. Bucyrus, Ohio-based James Teynor pleaded guilty to workers comp fraud after investigators found he had returned to work as a driver while collecting temporary total disability benefits. Woodville, Ohio-based Michael R. Strickland pleaded guilty to one count of workers comp fraud after investigators found him delivering mail for a trucking company while collecting BWC benefits, according to the statement.
“Workers comp fraud raises the cost of the system for everyone involved,” SID director Jim Wernecke said in the statement. “I hope these latest convictions serve as a reminder to those attempting to steal from BWC: We have investigators all over the state. We will find you, bring you to justice and make you repay the funds you illicitly acquired.”
A cast steel freight components manufacturer is facing $610,034 in proposed penalties after investigators found workers at its Groveport, Ohio, plant were exposed to machine hazards and silica.