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Ohio rehab business owner pleads guilty to workers' comp fraud

We have often shared stories in this blog about workers caught defrauding the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation. But there is another group involved in the workers’ compensation system that can cost BWC unfairly: physical therapists and other professionals who help injured workers heal so they can get back to work.

The vast majority of these professionals are honest and hardworking, but the opportunity is often there to defraud the system. At least, until BWC finds out about it.

For instance, a North Canton area woman has pleaded guilty to one count of workers’ compensation fraud and must repay nearly $56,000 to BWC. According to the Canton Repository, the woman admitted overcharging BWC for services provided by her rehabilitation businesses.

The woman owns and operates two businesses in Stark County, Intensity Rehab LTD and Emerald Empowerment Solutions. These businesses provide vocational rehabilitation and job placement for injured workers in the area. As part of this work, the woman would bill BWC for her gas and time.

Eventually, BWC staffers noticed that her businesses always billed the maximum for mileage and time. An investigation followed, which led to criminal charges.

By pleading guilty to workers’ compensation fraud, the business owner will avoid prison. But she will be on probation for five years, and must pay BWC $20,869 in restitution, plus another $35,000 to pay for the investigation.

If one of your workers makes a workers’ compensation claim, your business could face more problems, like claims you provided an unsafe work environment. A personal injury defense attorney’s representation can be invaluable in these situations.

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