COLUMBUS, OH (FOX19) - A former Cincinnati man has been ordered to return $20,000 to the Ohio Bureau of Workers' Compensation (BWC) following a fraud investigation that found he was concealing his employment with three companies in Kentucky in order to receive workers' compensation benefits to which he was not entitled.
Hal Greene pleaded guilty to one count of workers' compensation fraud, a fifth degree felony, for underreporting his wages as part of a scheme to inflate his workers' comp benefits.
"Work outside the state of Ohio does not create an exemption from accurately reporting income, which BWC uses to calculate these benefits," said Administrator/CEO Stephen Buehrer. "It was not only dishonest for Greene to misrepresent his income, it is illegal, and BWC will vigorously pursue cases like these where there is clear intent to deceive in order to increase benefits."
Greene was injured in an industrial accident in 2001 and was receiving Living Maintenance Wage Loss benefits, which are awarded to an injured worker who completes a vocational rehabilitation plan, successfully returns to work, and experiences a wage loss upon re-employment. Receipt of this benefit requires injured workers to report all income, which BWC uses to calculate payment amounts.
BWC's Special Investigations Department office in Cincinnati opened an investigation into Greene after receiving an anonymous allegation that he was working for several employers and underreporting his income. Investigators found that Greene was working four jobs but only reporting his wages earned as a truck driver for Denson Trucking in Liberty, Kentucky. From April 3, 2007 to May 12, 2008, Greene worked as a ceramic tile installer for Bennett's Carpet in Russell Springs, Kentucky, and a truck driver for both Carty & Carty in Lexington, Kentucky, and Neat Wilson & Roberts in Dunnville, Kentucky. If he had reported all his income to BWC, Greene would not have been entitled to a majority of the disability paid to him during this period.
On April 14, Greene was sentenced in Franklin County Common Pleas Court to five years community control, and ordered to pay 17,577.07 in restitution and $2,422.93 for investigative costs. As a condition of community control, Greene must maintain employment and any violations will result in eight months incarceration.