Ohio bureau uncovered $60 million in fraud

Ohio’s Bureau of Workers’ Compensation Special Investigations Department has done some difficult work this year to uncover more than $60 million in workers’ compensation fraud in the state.

In fact, there were 298 closed employer fraud cases with a savings of $8.7 million, 54 health care closed cases and $3.4 million of savings and 1,270 closed claimant fraud cases with $47.8 million in savings, according to published reports.

“With workers’ compensation, you have to have an intent to falsify information,” said Shawn Fox, Ohio BWC special investigations department special agent in charge.

In other words, those committing such fraud know full well what they are doing, and that they are stealing from Buckeye State taxpayers when they do it. According to the BWC, 62 percent of cases involved a claimant who received benefits while working, was no longer injured and/or did not get injured on the job.

BWC agents cannot do their job alone. They need the help of employers and co-workers willing to expose such theft.

“The special investigation department’s mission is to educate the employers in the state of Ohio who pay into the system about how to identify fraud, what is workers’ compensation fraud to let them know that we are out there protecting the state fund and will help prosecute those that are not entitled to those benefits,” Fox explained to another publication.

Kudos to the BWC agents who tracked down so many cases in fiscal 2018. While it would be nice to hope it will not be necessary, it is more likely they will need to keep up the good work.