Columbus, OH – The owners/operators of Triple Star Home Improvement and Roofing in Northwood (Wood County) have been sentenced to two and a half years of prison and ordered to pay more than $200,000 in restitution after they were convicted of workers’ compensation fraud.
Michelle Scaggs and Frederick Diebert operated their construction business advertising they only used employees, not subcontractors, and they were insured through the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC). The defendants even included a copy of the their BWC certificate of coverage with the contracts they provided to their clients while at the same time reporting to the BWC that they did not have any employees.
Michelle ScaggsBWC’s Special Investigations Department (SID) attempted to work with Scaggs and Diebert without success. An audit showed the couple owned outstanding premiums in excess of $200,000 during the indictment period.
The case was presented by Prosecutor Paul Dobson’s office in Wood County through a jury trial in Judge Alan Mayberry’s courtroom. The jury returned a guilty verdict of a third degree felony of Workers’ Compensation Fraud after a short deliberation following a two day trial.
Judge Mayberry commented during sentencing that both defendants showed a lack of remorse during the sentencing phase of the trial. Judge Mayberry went on to say that the victims in this case are the Ohio businesses that follow the law and pay their fair share while competing against employers like Triple Star Home Improvements that defraud the system.
Both defendants were ordered to spend 30 months in state prison and ordered to make restitution in the amount of $213,814.53, which includes the SID’s cost of investigation. The defendants requested a suspension of the sentence until an appeal could be filed, but Judge Mayberry denied their request and the defendants were taken into custody immediately.
Source: Ohio BWC SID