Columbus, OH – A Celina (Mercer County) man has been sentenced for workers’ compensation fraud after investigators with the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC) captured undercover video contradicting his claim that he couldn’t lift more than 10 pounds. The video of Jason Dross bench pressing more than 500 pounds at the Celina YMCA garnered a guilty plea and he has been ordered to repay BWC more than $30,000.
“Many do have a difficult time finding employment when an injury has left them with certain physical restrictions,” said BWC Administrator/CEO Steve Buehrer. “However, this video makes it very clear that Mr. Dross was not being truthful about his restrictions and he has now been ordered to repay the funds that he received deceptively.”
Dross was receiving non-working wage loss, which is payable to injured workers who are unable to find suitable employment In order to qualify, the injured worker must demonstrate a good faith effort to secure employment within physical restrictions. Dross claimed he was looking for work but was having difficulties because he could not find a job that would not require him to lift more than 10 pounds.
BWC’s Special Investigations Department (SID) began investigating after receiving an allegation that Dross was engaged in heavy weightlifting at the Celina YMCA. Agents conducted numerous undercover operations inside the YMCA and obtained the video of Dross bench pressing more than 500 pounds consistently over a period of one month. The video was captured during the time he was misrepresenting his physical capabilities to BWC and his physician.
Dross pleaded guilty Nov. 29 to one felony count of workers’ compensation fraud. He was sentenced today in the Franklin County Court of Common Pleas to nine months in jail, suspended for three years of community control under the conditions that he maintain employment and pay restitution in the amount of $31,736.98.