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Contractor Double-Dipped for 8 Years; Now Headed to Prison

Monday, March 18, 2019 | 109 | 0 | 1 min read

For eight years, an Ohio man received workers' compensation benefits while working as a contractor, prosecutors said. Now, he'll have to spend seven months in prison for defrauding the state compensation system.

Louis Cooper, 57, of the Cleveland area, will also have to pay more than $246,000 in restitution for the fraudulent benefits he received, the Ohio Bureau of Workers' Compensation announced Friday. He pleaded guilty to wire fraud and theft, and was sentenced in federal court in Cleveland.

“Acting on an anonymous tip, our investigators discovered Mr. Cooper earned at least $185,000 over the last eight years as a general contractor while telling BWC and Social Security he was too injured to work,” said BWC Administrator/CEO Stephanie McCloud.

Cooper was injured on the job in 1996. Starting in 2010, he concealed his income and work as a contractor by asking customers to pay him through a third party, the BWC said. He reported to the BWC and the Social Security Administration that he remained unable to work, all while collecting the quarter-million dollars in benefits.

Cooper must surrender to the U.S. Marshals Service on April 18 for transfer to a federal prison, and must serve three years of probation after his release, the bureau said. The case was prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Ohio.

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