CINCINNATI -- A Cincinnati woman who stole her disabled mother’s workers’ compensation benefits to support her drug habit must pay more than $43,000 in restitution to her mother and the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation, a judge ruled Sept. 21.
Shawna R. Jessee, 48, also must serve 180 days in the Hamilton County Justice Center’s extended drug treatment program for women, minus 72 days credit for time already served. She must serve five years' probation, submit to random drug screenings and serve 18 months in prison if she fails a drug screening or the terms of her probation.
“We know drug addiction is a serious health issue tearing at the fabric of our society, but we can’t tolerate the theft or misuse of funds that belong to our injured workers,” Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation CEO Sarah Morrison said.
The bureau's special investigations department started looking at Jessee after a state claims specialist couldn’t reach Jessee’s mother. Investigators found the mother living at a local nursing home and discovered Jessee had been using her mother’s benefits card to withdraw money without her mother’s consent.
Jessee pleaded guilty Aug. 17 to a fourth-degree felony count of workers’ compensation fraud. She must pay $18,724 in restitution to her mother and $7,446 to the state.
To report suspected cases of workers’ compensation fraud, call 800-644-6292 or visit the website here.