Columbus, OH – An investigation conducted by the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC) found a Medina attorney conspired to commit fraud by employing an injured worker she was representing in a workers’ compensation case. Natalie Grubb pleaded guilty to fraud in a Franklin County courtroom Jan. 28 and has paid nearly $15,000 in restitution.
“As an attorney, Mrs. Grubb had to be well aware that she could not argue her client was unable to work while simultaneously serving as that client’s employer,” said BWC Administrator/CEO Steve Buehrer. “This case is another reminder that we must be vigilant about putting an end to fraud being committed by anyone involved in the workers’ comp system.”
BWC’s Special Investigations Department (SID) opened an investigation after receiving an allegation that an injured worker was working for her attorney, Natalie Grubb, while receiving disability benefits following a workplace injury.
Investigators found Grubb allowed an injured worker she was representing to work in her legal office as an assistant. The worker was injured as a truck driver and was receiving Temporary Total Disability benefits after obtaining the legal services of Grubb in the case. The two conspired to hide the work activity and earnings so the benefits would continue.
The injured worker’s employment with Grubb was confirmed by a statement obtained from the injured worker herself and interviews of former employees.
Grubb initially denied the allegations and provided a false statement to BWC but pleaded guilty Jan. 28 to a misdemeanor count of complicity to commit workers’ compensation fraud. Grubb paid $7,709.92 in restitution and $6,731.55 in investigative costs upfront, and an additional $500 fine imposed by the Franklin County Municipal Court.
Grubb is being referred to the Disciplinary Counsel of the Ohio Supreme Court.
Source: Ohio BWC SID