Columbus, OH – A Columbus day care owner and nursing assistant recently pleaded guilty to a fifth-degree felony count of workers’ compensation fraud after her former employer reported her to the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC) for the crime.
Sharrounda Fuller, 42, must pay $11,514 in restitution to her former employer, a home health care company, and serve five years of probation, according to her sentence in the Franklin County Court of Common Pleas.
“The employer is self-insured, so it was paying Ms. Fuller’s benefits out-of-pocket when it learned she had opened a day care center out of her home” said Jim Wernecke, director of BWC’s special investigations department. “After the company asked for our assistance in pursuing criminal charges, we discovered she also had worked for three other home health care businesses while collecting disability benefits.”
Wernecke said that while self-insured companies manage their own workers’ compensation programs, BWC will investigate alleged fraud cases on their behalf, because “workers’ comp fraud impacts all of us.”
“Workers’ comp benefits are for people who legitimately can’t work because they were injured on the job,” he said. “When people cheat the system, it just drives up the costs for all the honest stakeholders in the system.”
Source: Ohio BWC SID