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An Ohio landscape company owner was sentenced and ordered to repay more than $18,000 after he was convicted of workers’ compensation fraud for improperly collecting benefits from the Ohio Bureau of Worker’s Compensation (BWC). Mark Mefferd was sentenced for working at his landscaping business while receiving BWC benefits for a prior workplace injury.
“Mr. Mefferd collected BWC benefits while trimming trees, pulling weeds, planting flowers and spreading mulch,” said BWC Administrator/CEO Steve Buehrer. Evidence indicated that Mefferd continued to operate his business and performed landscaping services for numerous businesses in northwest Ohio. He was receiving temporary total, living maintenance and non-working wage loss benefits while operating the business.
He pleaded guilty to one count of workers’ compensation fraud, a fifth-degree felony. He was sentenced and ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $18,690.63, plus court costs. Mefferd was placed on ‘community control’ for five years and was informed that he will serve 11 months at the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction if he violates the terms of his community control.
“We do not tolerate those who try to defraud the workers’ compensation system. Every dollar that is collected to care for injured workers must be used for its intended purpose,” said Buehrer.