Columbus, OH (WorkersCompensation.com) - An investigation conducted by the Ohio Bureau of Workers' Compensation (BWC) Special Investigations Department (SID) revealed Empire (Jefferson County) resident Thomas Piatt III was illegally collecting workers' compensation benefits. Piatt entered a guilty plea in a Franklin County courtroom last week and owes more than $25,000 in restitution.
"Workplace injuries are unfortunate events and workers who suffer injury deserve care and assistance as they recover," said BWC Administrator/CEO Steve Buehrer. "However, the goal should be to heal and return to work, and that is why restrictions are in place to prevent abuse and ensure employers are not continuing to pay for that assistance when it is clearly no longer needed."
Piatt was receiving workers' compensation benefits following a workplace injury. SID received an allegation from a BWC auditor indicating an audit showed Piatt received wages from a local real estate development company. Investigators found Piatt worked from 2006 through 2008 performing construction and remodeling work during periods for which he received Temporary Total Disability and Living Maintenance benefits from BWC.
Piatt pleaded guilty November 13 to a felony count of workers' compensation fraud. Franklin County Judge McIntosh ordered him to pay restitution of $25,332.92. He was also sentenced to 12 months of incarceration, suspended for community control, and was ordered to maintain viable employment.