- Dean Smith
Cleveland Woman Convicted of Felony Workers’ Compensation Fraud for Bartending at Local Joint
40-year-old Clarice L. Ward of Euclid, Ohio (Cleveland area) pleaded guilty early last month to a fifth-degree felony count of workers’ compensation fraud in connection to a bartending job while fraudulently collecting disability benefits, according to the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC).
In 2016, the BWC got wind that Ward was skipping her scheduled physical therapy appointments for her alleged injury sustained at her workplace. Furthermore, the company handling her care had been unable to reach her. An investigation ensued, and BWC eventually received an anonymous tip that the claimant was working at a local bar, Final Score in Willowick, Ohio.
Jim Wernecke, Director of BWC’s Special Investigations Department, stated that, “Ms. Ward would not cooperate with our investigators, so we interviewed her former employer and obtained evidence proving her fraudulent activity.”
Ward’s guilty plea led to a six-month prison sentence, five years of community control, and restitution payments totaling $26,578.