A Boardman man receiving workers' compensation benefits was sentenced to one year in jail and ordered to pay more than $12,500 in restitution after video surveillance caught him doing roofing work.
Thomas Hofus will also be on three years of community control after his sentencing Friday in Franklin County Common Pleas Court, where he entered a guilty charge to a single count of worker's compensation fraud, a fifth degree felony, on Aug. 13.
Hofus was receiving benefits when investigators got a tip that he was running businesses called World Class Curbing, which was a landscaping business as he was receiving temporary benefits for an undisclosed injury.
Members of the Special Investigations Department of the state Bureau of Workers' Compensation then set up a surveillance operation and also interviewed witnesses and pored over financial documents and found out that Hofus was working.
A spokeswoman for the BWC said she could not release Hofus' injuries because of privacy policies, but that he was to be on compensation from March 2010 to March 2011. Investigators immediately received complaints about him in March of 2010, the spokeswoman said.
Investigators found that Hofus was a sales person at home and garden shows, gave estimates for customers on site, was a supervisor in the field and also did a lot of the work, which is physical in nature.
"Workers' comp is intended for those who cannot return to work, while recovering from an injury," said BWC Administrator / CEO Steve Buehrer said.
"BWC remains committed to putting a stop to cases like this that place employer dollars in the hands of those who are not honestly representing their ability to work," he said.