Workers’ Comp Fraud Scheme Burns Cook For $46K


Columbus,OH( - A northeast Ohio man who worked as a cook for nearly three years while collecting disability benefits from the state owes the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC) nearly $46,000 following his fraud conviction last week.


Walter M. Patterson, 58, of Olmsted Twp., pleaded guilty Aug. 21 to a fifth-degree felony count of workers’ compensation fraud in the Franklin County Court of Common Pleas. A judge ordered Patterson to reimburse BWC $45,906 and serve five years of community control.


“It’s a mistaken perception among some people that workers’ compensation fraud is not that big a deal, that BWC ‘can afford it,’” said Jim Wernecke, director of BWC’s special investigations department. “As this case demonstrates, we take fraud very seriously and intend to recoup every ill-gotten dollar fraudsters take from this agency so those funds can serve injured workers who truly need them.”


Acting on a tip, BWC investigators found Patterson working as a cook at the Valley Tavern in Valley View, Ohio, and learned that he had previously worked as a cook at the County Line Bar in Brecksville.

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