Columbus, OH – A South Carolina man has been ordered to repay the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC) more than $140,000 for holding several jobs and concealing earnings while receiving permanent disability benefits. Joseph Curto of Conway, SC, pleaded guilty to workers’ compensation fraud and was sentenced in a Franklin County courtroom.
“Working multiple jobs and intentionally concealing income to continue receiving workers’ comp benefits is a crime in Ohio, no matter where you reside,” said BWC Administrator/CEO Steve Buehrer. “We are pleased to uncover fraud cases like this, while reserving permanent disability for those who truly cannot work due to their occupational injury or illness.”
Curto was injured on the job while working for an Ohio based company and awarded Permanent Total Disability benefits. The Intelligence Unit in BWC’s Special Investigations Department identified a possible issue after receiving a report that Curto was employed by a trucking firm.
Agents traveled there to South Carolina and confronted Curto at the job site. He confessed to working for Unlimited Sanitation in Conway. He also admitted to working for several other employers since 1999, including C & C Trucking, Prestige Trucking, White Trucking, Winterplace Ski Resort, O’Reilly Auto Parts and Natural Nutrients.
Curto also admitted that he used his wife’s Social Security Number to report his earnings in an effort to conceal his income. The Social Security Administration, Office of Inspector General provided employment information and assisted in the investigation.
Curto was indicted in February and pleaded guilty in August. He was sentenced Nov. 2 to18 months incarceration, suspended for four years of community control. He must also pay restitution in the amount of $143,203.33 and maintain viable employment.
Source: Ohio BWC