Northeast Ohio Truck Driver Convicted of Workers' Comp Fraud
Columbus, OH (WorkersCompensation.com) - A Shaker Heights truck driver was convicted of workers' compensation fraud last week after the Ohio Bureau of Workers' Compensation discovered he continued to work while collecting benefits for a workplace injury he suffered 10 years ago.
Deangelo Speed, 28, pleaded guilty Dec. 2 in a Franklin County courtroom to a fifth-degree felony count of workers' compensation fraud. The judge ordered Speed to pay BWC $7,599 in restitution and court costs by March 2, 2020. The judge also sentenced Speed to a six-month jail sentence, suspended for six months of probation.
“If you can climb in and out of a truck and drive for hours, then you shouldn't be collecting workers' compensation benefits,” said BWC Administrator/CEO Stephanie McCloud. “Thanks to a tip and our investigation, Mr. Speed had to learn this lesson the hard way.”
BWC's Special Investigations Department (SID) found Speed working as a truck driver while collecting BWC benefits from Oct. 20, 2015, through Jan. 27, 2017. He was injured as a pizza delivery driver in May 2009 and had received temporary disability benefits from BWC periodically between 2009 and 2016.
In other news, SID secured three fraud-related convictions in November, bringing calendar year 2019's total to 87.
Elwood King of Perrysburg King pleaded guilty Nov. 26 in Franklin County to one count of workers' compensation fraud, a first-degree misdemeanor, after BWC found he went back to work for two companies while collecting temporary disability benefits from BWC. The judge ordered King to pay BWC $5,172 in restitution, which has been recovered in full, and granted him seven days credit for local jail time served.
Michael J. Bilas of Struthers Bilas pleaded guilty Nov. 20 in a Mahoning County court to one count of failure to comply, a second-degree misdemeanor, after BWC found him operating his company, Michael J. Bilas Leasing LLC, without active BWC coverage. Investigators found Bilas had amassed large debts due to claims and outstanding premiums on two previous BWC policies for what appeared to be the same business.
Bilas failed to work with BWC agents on several occasions to get his most recent policy into compliance. Bilas received a 90-day jail sentence (suspended) and one year of probation. He must also comply with a BWC audit.
Carolyn Motley of Cincinnati SID discovered Motley, a licensed practical nurse, worked for two employers while receiving temporary disability benefits. Motley pleaded guilty Nov. 7 in Franklin County to one count of workers' compensation fraud, a first-degree misdemeanor. The judge sentenced Motley to five years of community control (probation) and ordered her to pay BWC $7,306 in restitution. If she violates the terms of her probation, she will go to jail for 180 days.
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