This image taken from video recorded by the Ohio Bureau of Workers Compensation’s Special Investigation Department shows Jason Dross weightlifting at the Celina YMCA. Dross, who was receiving non-working wage loss due to his claim that he could medically lift no more than 10 pounds, pleaded guilty to a charge of workers’ compensation fraud. (Image from video made public by the Bureau of Worker’s Compensation)
BY LINDSAY MCCOY
Times Bulletin News Writer
COLUMBUS - A Mercer County man who was caught in a lie to the Ohio Bureau of Workers Compensation (BWC) is expected to pay back over $30,000 after proof arose proving the man could lift more than the 10-pound limit he claimed in order to receive benefits. Video showed Jason Dross bench pressing more than 500 pounds at the Celina YMCA. That was 490 pounds more than he claimed he was able to lift.Dross was receiving non-working wage loss, which is payable to injured workers who are unable to find suitable employment. He claimed he had been looking for work but was having difficulties finding a job that would not require him to lift more than 10 pounds.
"Many do have a difficult time finding employment when an injury has left them with certain physical restrictions," said BWC Administrator/CEO Steve Buehrer. "However, this video makes it very clear that Mr. Dross was not being truthful about his restrictions, and he has now been ordered to repay the funds that he received deceptively."
BWC's Special Investigation Department began investigating his claim after receiving an allegation that Dross was engaged in heavy weightlifting at the Celina YMCA. After numerous undercover operations were conducted inside the YMCA, agents obtained a video of Dross bench pressing more than 500 pounds consistently over a period of one month. The video was captured during the time he was misrepresenting his physical capabilities to BWC as well as his physician.
On Nov. 29, Dross pleaded guilty to one felony count of workers' compensation fraud. Yesterday, he was sentenced in the Franklin County Court of Common Pleas to nine months in jail, but that sentence was suspended for three years of community control, as long as Dross maintains a job and pays the required restitution which totals $31,736.98.
To report suspected workers' compensation fraud, call 1-800-OHIOBWC, visit ohiobwc.com, or www.facebook.com/ohiobwcfraud.