CONVOY â?? A Van Wert County man will pay restitution and was sentenced to probation after he pleaded guilty to workersâ?? compensation fraud.
Mark Mefferd was sentenced April 19 for working at his landscaping business while receiving Ohio Bureau of Workerâ??s Compensation benefits for a prior workplace injury, the bureau announced Monday.
Mefferd will pay $18,000 plus court costs. Mefferd will be on probation for five years; if he violates the terms of probation, he will serve 11 months in prison.
BWCâ??s Special Investigations Unit received an allegation that Mefferd may have returned to work while receiving BWC benefits. Evidence indicated Mefferd continued to operate his business and performed landscaping services for numerous businesses in northwest Ohio. He was receiving temporary total, living maintenance and non-working wage loss benefits while operating the business.
â??Mr. Mefferd collected BWC benefits while trimming trees, pulling weeds, planting flowers and spreading mulch,â?ť bureau Administrator/CEO Steve Buehrer said. â??We do not tolerate those who try to defraud the workersâ?? compensation system. Every dollar that is collected to care for injured workers must be used for its intended purpose.â?ť
Mefferd pleaded guilty Feb. 28 to one count of workersâ?? compensation fraud, a fifth-degree felony.
To report suspected workersâ?? compensation fraud, call 1-800-OHIOBWC, visit ohiobwc.com, or visit www.facebook.com/ohiobwcfraud.