Cincinnati, OH – Two Cincinnati area men have been sentenced after investigators from the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC) caught one on video admitting to faking an injury, and the other operating an auto detail business while receiving injured worker benefits. Jeffrey Beaty of Reading (Hamilton County) and Benjamin Lawrence of Covington (Kenton County, Kentucky) both pleaded guilty to workers’ compensation fraud and must repay a combined $18,000.
“Mr. Lawrence’s case provides an excellent reminder that suspicious employers, co-workers, and even family members, are not powerless to put an end to fraud,” said BWC Administrator/CEO Steve Buehrer. “While both of these cases demonstrate that video provides some of the most compelling evidence, BWC’s Special Investigations Department is ready to utilize a number of investigative tools to follow up on tips.”
BWC’s Special Investigations Department (SID) opened an investigation into Jeffrey Beaty after suspecting he may be operating Beaty’s Auto Wash and Detail business in Reading. SID obtained evidence showing he personally washed, waxed, and detailed vehicles for customers and businesses in the area. Agents interviewed a number of individuals who provided additional information and invoices Beaty provided to his customers proving he was earning income by performing his business activities.
Beaty pleaded guilty to one count of workers’ compensation fraud in the Franklin County Court of Common Pleas. The judge ordered Beaty to pay restitution in the amount of $14,631.90, in addition to $2,000 for investigative costs. He was also placed on community control for three years and will serve 6 months in prison if he violates the terms. He has begun paying restitution.
Benjamin Lawrence was allegedly injured on the job and was receiving benefits until a co-worker secretly taped him confessing to faking the injury. The co-worker supplied the employer with the tape, in which Lawrence states he purposely injured himself and knowingly filed a false claim. He also brags that he was able to receive pain pills. Lawrence pleaded guilty to one count of workers’ compensation fraud in a Franklin County courtroom and the judge ordered him to pay restitution of $2,057.92 to BWC. He will serve 180 days in jail he does not pay the full amount by October 1, 2012. He paid $500 towards his restitution the day of sentencing.
Source: Ohio BWC