Columbus Workers’ Compensation Fraud Lawyer
Workers’ Compensation Fraud Attorneys in Columbus Representing Individuals Accused of a Criminal Offense
According to statistics provided by the Ohio Workers’ Compensation Board, over 100,000 individuals are injured in the State of Ohio while they are working at their jobs. When individuals suffer an injury or illness at work (and while they are working within the scope of their employment), they may file a claim for workers’ compensation benefits. Potential workers’ compensation benefits can include a portion of the injured worker’s lost wages, payment of medical bills, and in some cases, permanent disability benefits.
The Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation, however, regularly investigates and pursues individuals who are suspected of committing workers’ compensation fraud. If you are being investigated or have been charged with workers’ compensation fraud, it is essential that you have an experienced attorney on your side representing you. A knowledgeable Columbus workers’ compensation fraud attorney at Joslyn Law Firm can help you defend against your criminal charge and can represent you at all criminal court proceedings throughout your case.
Overview of Worker's Compensation Fraud in OH
- What is Worker's Compensation Fraud in Ohio?
- Will You Go to Jail for a Worker's Compensation Fraud Conviction?
- Find an Experienced Defense Lawyer
What is Workers’ Compensation Fraud in Ohio?
Many people wonder how a workers’ compensation fraud charge can arise, and what the offense involves. The Board defines workers’ compensation fraud as any type of intentional conduct that results in benefits not deserved under the law. Often, it involves intentionally providing false information to an employer, insurer, or the Board to wrongfully get benefits.
In some instances, ordinary individuals commit workers’ compensation fraud without even knowing it, by simply overstepping or making a mistake. One of the best ways to ensure that you do not involuntarily commit such fraud is by being informed about and understanding the workers’ compensation process in Ohio and possible fraud allegations.
Some workers’ compensation fraud is short-term, while other types of fraud are long-term schemes. There are several instances where an individual in the State of Ohio could be accused of committing workers’ compensation fraud. Those instances may include any of the following:
- An individual pursues and/or receives one or more types of workers’ compensation benefits that he or she is not entitled to receive
- One or more individuals enter into some sort of agreement (i.e., a conspiracy) to defraud an employer that is self-insured (or the BWC) by falsely claiming workers’ compensation disability benefits
- An individual makes a statement that is false or misleading while intending to obtain services or goods pursuant to the Ohio Workers’ Compensation Statute
- An individual destroys, falsifies, alters, removes, or conceals certain documents or records which are required for establishing a valid claim for workers’ compensation benefits
- An individual overstates his or her limitations or injuries that allegedly resulted from an incident that occurred while working on the job
- The accused was “working under the table” (i.e., receiving cash compensation for services without paying taxes on that compensation) while he or she collects workers’ compensation benefits for temporary total disability
- An individual claims that he or she suffered an injury or illness while working on the job, while in reality, the accused sustained the injury at some other time or under some other circumstances
- An individual conceals certain medical records or other documentation that may be detrimental to his or her claim for workers’ compensation benefits
Will You Go to Jail for a Workers’ Compensation Fraud Conviction?
You can face serious criminal penalties if you plead guilty or are convicted of workers’ compensation fraud, including possible jail time. The penalties for a conviction depends primarily on the amount of money that you allegedly defrauded. Potential penalties for workers’ compensation fraud in Ohio can include the following:
- Up to one year in jail if the amount you allegedly defrauded is under $1,000 (first-degree misdemeanor charge)
- Six months to one year in jail if the amount you allegedly defrauded was between $1,000 and $7,500 (fifth-degree felony charge)
- Six months to 18 months in jail if the amount you allegedly defrauded ranged from $7,500 to $150,000 (fourth-degree felony charge)
- Nine months to 36 months in jail if the amount you allegedly defrauded exceeded $150,000 (a third-degree felony charge)
If you have been accused of or charged with committing workers’ compensation fraud, a strong defense may result in a dismissal of your charge – allowing you to avoid these potential penalties and other life consequences. An experienced Columbus workers’ compensation fraud lawyer can help you with arguing a strong legal defense to your fraud charge and pursue a dismissal in your case. We can also negotiate a lesser charge or reduced sentence if you decide to plead guilty or are convicted.
Defense Attorneys Fighting Workers’ Compensation Fraud Charges
When it comes to workers’ compensation fraud, the state prosecutor has the burden of proving that you are guilty of committing the fraud beyond a reasonable doubt. This can be a high legal standard for the State prosecutor to overcome. In order for the prosecutor to show that you committed workers’ compensation fraud, he or she must demonstrate that at the time the offense was committed, you knew that you were facilitating fraud and/or that you committed the offense with the specific intent of committing a fraudulent act.
If the State prosecutor is not able to prove that you harbored the specific intent necessary to commit workers’ compensation fraud, your charge might end up being dismissed, and your case may be dropped. The specific defense strategy available will depend on the circumstances of your specific case.
Call a Columbus Workers’ Compensation Fraud Lawyer about Your Legal Defense Today
If you have been charged with committing workers’ compensation fraud, you could be facing several serious penalties, not to mention the serious impact of a fraud conviction on your record. Having an experienced attorney on your side from the beginning of your case to the end can help to increase your chances of success. The knowledgeable legal team at Joslyn Law Firm is ready to represent you throughout your criminal case and pursue the best possible result on your behalf.
To schedule a free case evaluation and legal consultation with a Columbus workers’ compensation fraud lawyer, please call us at 614-444-1900 to learn more about how we could assist you with a legal defense in your case. We represent those charged in Columbus Ohio and all Central Ohio Counties including, Licking County, Delaware County, Madison County, Fairfield County, Pickaway County, Union County and Franklin County Ohio.