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Ohio DJ caught spinning work comp fib

All employers -- regardless of size or sector -- must remain on the lookout for potentially fraudulent and frivolous work comp claims. In fact, one of the more common manifestations of employee fraud for which employers need to remain watchful is misrepresentations by an employee regarding the severity of their work injury.

Consider a recent case out of the state of Ohio, where officials with the Bureau of Workers' Compensation (BWC) conducted an undercover investigation that revealed a supposedly injured worker was actually moonlighting as a disc jockey.

According to reports, Randall S. was receiving temporary total disability benefits for a workplace injury that purportedly kept him from working.

However, an anonymous phone call placed to a fraud hotline set up by the BWC indicated that Randall S. was actually working as a DJ at area taverns under the stage name "DJ Randy Stevens."

The BWC subsequently authorized personnel in its Special Investigation Division (SID) to perform an undercover investigation.

Shortly thereafter, the investigators determined that Randall S. was not only working as a DJ on his own, but was also employed by a professional DJ service. In fact, he was videotaped on a weekly basis performing in area bars, and unloading/carrying his speakers and other heavy equipment from his vehicle.

Randall S. was subsequently charged with work comp fraud and pleaded guilty just last month. The judge sentenced him to 18 months in prison -- suspended for 5 years of community control -- and ordered him to pay $27,202.62 in restitution.

"As is so often the case, [Randall S.] continued to maintain his injury to BWC and his treating physicians even as he was simultaneously working in clear violation of the law," said BWC Administrator Stephen Buehrer. "Area music lovers may have enjoyed his services, but this type of deceitful behavior is not at all amusing to employers who prefer their premiums go toward treating those who are truly unable to work."

Workers compensation fraud/employee fraud is a very serious crime. If you suspect that such a crime has been perpetrated against your organization, you should strongly consider speaking with an experienced workers' comp defense attorney.

This post was provided for informational purposes only and is not to be construed as legal advice. Names have been withheld to protect the identity of the parties.


EHS Today, "DJ has to face the music for workers' comp fraud" Jan. 25, 2012

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