A Bucyrus woman has been ordered to repay more than $8,000 after she pleaded guilty to working multiple jobs while receiving benefits from the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC). Debra Lawrence was sentenced in a Franklin County courtroom on Sept. 11.
“Ms. Lawrence demonstrated her ability to return to employment by working in multiple jobs while receiving benefits,” said BWC Administrator/CEO Steve Buehrer. “She also took steps to conceal her work activity, resulting in approval of benefits she was not entitled to receive.”
BWC’s Special Investigations Department’s Investigative Unit conducted a cross match with the Ohio Department of Jobs and Family Services that showed Lawrence had received wages during a period of time she was also receiving temporary total disability benefits for a workplace injury.
A review of employment records and interviews confirmed Lawrence returned to work as a general laborer for several temporary agencies, and by her own admission, only stopped working because she started to receive her Social Security benefits. She failed to disclose her employment for four employers and submitted the eight requests for temporary total disability from March to September 2013.
Lawrence pleaded guilty to one felony count of workers’ compensation Fraud (F5) on July 30 and was sentenced Sept. 11 to 12 months of prison, suspended for five years of community control. Terms of her community control include the repayment of $8,674.81 in restitution BWC and mental health counseling.