For immediate release: Jan. 13, 2012
BWC Investigations Result in Three Workers' Comp Fraud Convictions in December
Columbus - Ohio Bureau of Workers' Compensation (BWC) Administrator/CEO Stephen Buehrer today announced three
individuals were convicted of or pleaded guilty to charges related to defrauding Ohio's workers' compensation system
during the month of December. The court actions are the result of investigations conducted by BWC's Special
Investigations Department (SID), which works to deter, detect, investigate, and prosecute workers' compensation fraud.
"Three more convictions round out 2011, a year during which BWC made great progress in demonstrating the seriousness
of workers' comp fraud and our willingness to pursue these crimes, making potential wrongdoers think twice about
the consequences," said Buehrer. "We look forward to pursuing fraud with equal vigor in 2012."
Following are summaries of cases that resulted in a guilty plea or conviction during the month of December.
Kelly Smith (Piketown, Pike County) was found guilty Dec. 16 in the Chillicothe Municipal Court of workers'
compensation fraud for filing a false claim. SID received an allegation from an employer that Smith filed a
claim against their policy for a workplace injury although she had never worked for the company. Smith was unable to
produce any documentation to prove he was an employee; therefore, the claim was denied. Investigators confirmed Smith
was not an employee and had filed a false claim. Smith pleaded no contest and was given a $250 fine, one year of
community control and 35 hours of community service.
William Hill (Chesterland, Geauga County), pleaded guilty Dec. 6 to a felony count of workers' compensation
fraud for working while receiving benefits. Hill became the subject of an investigation after a BWC claims service
specialist suspected he may be working for his own company while receiving temporary total disability benefits. An
investigation verified the Chesterland man was operating Hill's Contracting Company for three years in direct
conflict with his disability benefits. Hill was ordered in a Franklin County Municipal Court to pay $131,919.43
in restitution and an additional $2,000 for investigative costs. He was also sentenced to five years of community
control. As part of the agreement, Hill is ordered to pay $100 per month. If Hill does not comply with
probation or make the required monthly payments, he will serve six months in prison.
Kenneth McElroy (Chardon, Geauga County), was sentenced Dec. 14 after pleading guilty to a felony count of
theft for working while receiving benefits. SID opened an investigation into McElroy after learning he was self
employed snow plowing and repairing lawn mower/landscape and construction equipment while receiving temporary
total disability benefits. SID conducted numerous interviews confirming he was performing these services at
his home and at customerâ€™s residences. The Ohio Industrial Commission issued an order in October finding
all benefits McElroy received for the period of more than five years had been overpaid. Additionally, his benefits
were terminated due to a finding of fraud. A Franklin County judge ordered McElroy to pay $80,000 in restitution
and sentenced him to five years of community control and a suspended a six month prison sentence.
To report suspected workers' compensation fraud, call 1-800-OHIOBWC, visit ohiobwc.com, or visit
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