Columbus, OH (WorkersCompensation.com) - Tawana Brown of Cleveland (Cuyahoga County) must repay more than $8,000 after she was discovered working at several area dry cleaners while receiving workers' comp benefits, and attempting to collect a lump sum settlement from BWC.
SID received an allegation through the Fraud Hotline that Brown may have been working for Avon Cleaners in Cleveland while receiving temporary total disability payments. The investigation confirmed Brown had worked at both Avon Cleaners and Kingsbury Cleaners in Shaker Heights.
Brown had returned to work as a shirt press operation, the same job she was doing at the time of her injury. She was also in the process of attempting to receive a lump sum settlement from BWC after claiming to have minimal use of her hand. However, it was discovered she had been working as much as five to eight hours a day, five days a week on a fast-paced shirt press line that required the use of both hands.
Brown failed to appear for her arraignment and a warrant was issued in April. She was arrested in August while a passenger in a vehicle that was stopped by police for a traffic violation in Montgomery County.
On Oct. 29, Brown entered a guilty plea to count one felony of workers' compensation fraud. The judge sentenced her to seven months in prison, suspended for three years of community control. The terms of community control include paying restitution to BWC in the amount of $8,823.32.