VAUGHNSVLLE - A Vaughnsville man has repaid more than $26,000 to the Ohio Bureau of Workers' Compensation (BWC) after investigators caught him on camera selling firearms out of his home while receiving workers' comp benefits. Charles Newland pleaded guilty to fraud Dec. 9 in the Franklin County Court of Common Pleas.
"Mr. Newland was operating this business while he was supposed to be off work recovering from a workplace injury," said BWC Administrator/CEO Steve Buehrer. "That is a clear conflict and we are pleased our investigators were able to capture the video evidence to put an end to it and bring thousands of dollars back to the State Insurance Fund."
BWC's special investigations department opened a case on Newland after receiving an allegation that he may be operating a firearm and archery business near his home while collecting disability for a prior workplace injury. Investigators who visited Newland and posed as customers confirmed he was operating Buckeye Archery next to his home. He was selling the firearms, archery, and hunting equipment and supplies while collecting temporary total, living maintenance and living maintenance wage loss benefits. Injured workers are not permitted to return to work while collecting these benefits.
Newland pleaded to one misdemeanor count workers' compensation fraud. He had already paid restitution of $18,367.90, in addition to investigative costs of $7,845.50, for a total of $26,213.40. The judge found Newland guilty and ordered him to pay a $100 fine and court costs.