Port Clinton woman's Facebook gets her convicted

Pictures and posts show she was working while collecting $61,000 in workers comp benefits.
Register
May 21, 2013

 

Kelley Wheeler, Port Clinton, pleaded guilty to workers’ compensation fraud after her Facebook postings helped prove she was working while collecting benefits for a workplace injury, said Melissa Vince, spokeswoman with the state Bureau of Workers Compensation.

A news release from the agency provided the following:  

Wheeler pleaded guilty May 16 in a Franklin County courtroom and was ordered to repay more than $61,000 she collected inappropriately.

“As social media has grown, BWC investigators have deployed enhanced analysis of these sites to support our investigations,” said BWC Administrator/CEO Steve Buehrer. “Our fraud team has proven very resourceful when it comes to ensuring dishonest employers, workers and providers do not escape detection.”

Wheeler was receiving working wage loss, which is available to injured workers who have found work other than their former position but receive less in pay than they did at the time of injury. BWC’s Special Investigations Department (SID) opened an investigation after receiving an allegation from a BWC claims services specialist who became suspicious of the employment documentation Wheeler submitted in order to qualify for these benefits.

The investigation showed Wheeler submitted 64 different false payroll documents indicating she worked at a Travelers Transport in Port Clinton, a business that never existed. Investigators found Wheeler created timesheets and submitted them to BWC to qualify for benefits. Investigators also found she was employed at Purrfect Paws Grooming Boutique in Sandusky and failed to report those wages, which were necessary to properly calculate her benefits.

SID’s Digital Forensics Team was also able to obtain photos and postings from the Wheeler’s Facebook page showing her while working at Purrfect Paws.  Additional postings and pictures from the Purrfect Paws Facebook page showed Wheeler at work during a period she was receiving disability.

Wheeler was interviewed and admitted the payroll documents she submitted from Travelers Transport were false, and she purposely did not report her earnings from Purrfect Paws.  She acknowledged knowing what she was doing was wrong but was did not want to lose the benefits.   

A judge ordered Wheeler to pay restitution totaling $61,213.72, in addition to a $500 fine and court costs, as well as 17 months of incarceration, suspended for five years of community control. 

To report suspected workers’ compensation fraud, call 1-800-OHIOBWC, visit ohiobwc.com, or visit www.facebook.com/ohiobwcfraud.

Comments

gene44870

And justice prevails . she deserved to get a jail time as well

mrlizzzard

Great news.Did she have to surrender her Iphone,fake nails,fancy purse and Lincoln also?

your master

finally some good news in the newspaper

BlueAngel

can we all say DAH?????

ladydye_5

People like this ruin it for everyone else.

Unassumer

what a dumb a**.

IDK

Wow. Guess I was raised differently. I would never even think to do something like this. What is wrong with people? Thief.

8ballinthesidepocket

She is only a small part of the problem. If we would eliminate these "hand outs" and take away the incentive to cheat the system and be lazy maybe we could eliminate the problem once and for wall. I understand they are targeting Sandusky next and that should lead to some real meat for these guys. Can't wait to see those results!!

deertracker

I can't wait for all the racist comments!! I wonder if she is on welfare or own an "Obama" phone? Hmmmmm!

Simple Enough II

Trash...White Trash, wonder if she eats 90% of her meal at the cracka barrel/Denny's n then claims it was awful? Wonder if she steals cable n has an "Obama phone "? Wonder if she uses someone else handicap placard when parking at Kroger or Walmart? Damn white trash if she did!!!! Does this fit your needs?

deertracker

I don't need it, just expect it!

007

Her sister owns Purrfect Paws where she worked side by side with her. Makes me wonder if her sister was aware of all of this.

Licorice Schtick

Maybe Sis busted her.

So this little caper is costing her $500, plus a lawyer, right? For a chance at $60,000? Seems like some folk would consider that a good bet. When word of this gets out, expect WC fraud to increase.

This was a fairly elaborate fraud scheme. Gotta wonder what men typically get for a similar crime. The gender bias in criminal justice is pretty bad.

Hoss McGee

She has worked for her sister Kathy for at least 2 years!

FortheTruth

Yes, that was after this whole episode, just because it came out now, has nothing to do with 2009 and 2010 when I did this. The legal process takes time... and I just got done with my case and got probation, that is why you are hearing about it now.

The Big Dog's back

The height of stupidity.

YoMamma

She gots da fake nails and Obama phone. People are so freaking stupid!

FortheTruth

I am Kelley Wheeler, and I am actually working and do work about 11 hours a day, and don't have fake nails or a cadillac, I drive an old mini-van and go to college. I don't have an Obama phone...lol. I have a prepaid cell phone, like most people. I am not on welfare or food stamps. And I am and was entitled to all the workers comp I received, I just went about it the wrong way and now am receiving it the right way, if anything, I can be accused of is being stupid and not seeking the right help and answers from the correct people.

OH-IO

Welfare mentality. It's ruining everything.

Mr. D

8ball, stop playing pocket billiards, your ignorance is showing. Workers Comp is not a hand out as you claim. It is insurance to make up for income lost due to injury on the job. Sadly, some people try beat the system. This lady got caught as most do. Especially someone foolish to post on FB. Big Brother does watch us.

FortheTruth

Unfortunately that is the part of this story, I am Kelley Wheeler, that is wrong, I did not post anything on fb. My sister posted a picture of me, with my arms around a small dog, but that is not what caused them to look at my fb, it was the case worker I had, she acutally thought I was back out driving a semi-truck, which I wasn't, I wasn't even working at all.

YoMamma

Maybe it wasn't intended as a handout. But scum like her have manipulated the system to turn it into a handout for them!

FortheTruth

Read my comment below, I am not scum and did not take anything that was not entitled to me. I have worked my whole life as I am sure you do and paid high taxes as I made quite a bit of money. Read the truth of my story, Kelley Wheeler, If you want to know what I really did and what happened to me.

Mum-of-One

What's an Obama Phone?

luvblues2

It's a free limited use cell phone program for welfare recipients that George W. Bush started but, most attribute to Obama, Mum.

FortheTruth

Just want to state a couple facts! She does not have a Obama phone nor does she get any kind of help from welfare! She does not have an iphone, fake nails, a fancy purse or a Lincoln! Her sister Kathy didn't know anything about any of this until BWC came in and informed her! None of this has anything to do with Purrfect Paws Grooming! Kathy has complied with any and all info they (BWC) needed. Kelley has actually been at Purrfect Paws for 3 years. The first year she was an apprentice she received no income. After she was qualified to groom she started as an independent contractor, as all grooming salons are run except for corporate grooming salons. I am sure if any of you are interested in the TRUTH, and since several of you seem to know Kathy, please feel free to call her and I am sure she will be glad to talk to you. Before you post things on here you should at least know the facts!!!!

FortheTruth

Hi since you all want to obviously talk about my case ( Kelley D. Wheeler) I just want you to know directly from me, If you really want the truth and want to read what I did, I will tell you the truth, just as I did the fraud dept. from BWC. in 2009 or around that time, I was on workers comp, I did not have to work, I have such severe restrictions and am not able to do a lot of things and could have been off work, but I wanted to work, like I did for that last 22 years driving a semi-truck over the road. So I worked and paid taxes and never so even had a speeding ticket, only a parking ticket, I have never been in trouble in my life. What actually happened had nothing to do with my sisters grooming salon, that was actually not involved this all happened before she even opened a grooming salon. I was let go from a job in Toledo, Ohio as a dispatcher I was the low man on the totem poll, so I was the first in my dept. to be let go when they cut back, at the time I was collecting "working Wages" which I am entitled to do. At that time in my life, I was supporting my fiance' my son his wife and my two grandbabies, all under 2 years old. I had 3 dogs and was the only one with a job, it does not make it right, but the day I lost my job I did call my case worker and ask about various things suck as unemployment, which I have never collected, I may be an idiot, but I did not know my Workers Comp rights as I do now. I also that same day called my lawyer and talked to an assistant who like my case worker, gave me incorrect information, so both people my case worker and my legal person gave me incorrect information, based on that and desperation, I made up fake pay stubs until I could get a job. A year later, guess what, I still had no job, because no one will hire me, because I was too injured and have severe restrictions, so then my sister opened a grooming salon, I drove a semi-truck my whold life, and did not commit fraud to buy stuff for myself, it was to support and help my family and survive, I do not have fake nails, I did years ago when I made $1500.00 a week and drove a truck and paid more taxes than most people. The after I was at my sisters salon, helping answering phones and sitting with her, because she did not have customers or very many the first year, I sat here with her. I applied for tons of jobs and still do, and no one will hire me. Then in 2011, I did become employed here after a year of sitting her with her watching her groom. I told workers comp I was an independant operator, and this job here is not the issue, it was what I did before I worked here, the fake pay stubs. I have been through hell in the last 2 years and immediately admitted I made up fake paystubs, and have to represent myself as my own attorney with all my workers comp appeals, because what you all don't know is that the money I received the $61,000.00 I was and am entitled to, I DID NOT TAKE any MONEY that I was not entitled to. That is how it is getting paid back and actually I have already paid back over $24,000.00 into my fund, that was through money I was entitled to collect, so what I really did was commit fraud and hurt myself and my family and friends. If anyone is on here that truly knows me, you will know that I am a good, friendly person who will help anyone, that was my down fall helping others. I also have 5 rescue dogs, so I am not some woman out driving around in a Cadillac with fake nails...LOL... what I did was wrong, and all I can say for that to the state of Ohio is and did say was I was sorry. No matter how destitute you get in life, you should not do anything wrong like I did, but since everyone needs to know what happened that is it in a nut shell, Workers comp came in the shop and they have all our records and what I did has nothing to do with the shop or our deep love for animals. I am still on workers comp and collecting my wages appropriatley and would love to help others who may or will encounter problems like I had, just because they are the state run agency does not mean that the person you talk to gives you all the right answers, that is what happened to me to make a person who never was in trouble get into trouble. I am still the good person I always was and will be, and no matter what others say, I know the truth and if anyone knows me, they know I am a good person. So that is it, go ahead and rip me apart now, but I just wanted everyone to know the truth, the only reason, it got into the newspaper and on the radio was because I asked for probation here, I got 5 years or until my overpayment is paid for (that is what workers comp calls it, not me). So if you have any questions feel free to ask. But my case is mine and only mine and had to do with a job I had from before the grooming salon and my workers comp is from a truck driving job. Thanks for caring to read the truth.

pptrsha

amen sister don't look too close in the closet we ALL have skeletons

deertracker

@Forthetruth

You have to do what you have to do. It's called SURVIVAL! No judgment here

Just Sayin IMHO

If you did nothing wrong, why do you have to pay restitution? Does this mean that Perfect Paws is looking for a new groomer?