Northwood couple jailed for workers' comp fraud PDF Print E-mail
Written by ALEX ASPACHER Sentinel Staff Writer   
Saturday, 14 September 2013 08:44
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Defendants Frederick Diebert and Michelle Scaggs in court on Friday (Photo: Enoch Wu/Sentinel-Tribune)
The two owners of Triple Star Roofing were each sentenced to serve 30 months in prison Friday following convictions of defrauding the state workers' compensation system for several years.
Frederick Diebert, 57, and Michelle Scaggs, 37, both of the same George Street address in Northwood, were also ordered to pay more than $200,000 in restitution after failing to pay workers' compensation premiums for their employees and incorrectly classifying their employees as independent contractors. They were found guilty of the third-degree felony July 15.
Before handing down the sentence, Judge Alan Mayberry noted a lack of responsibility by both defendants. He said Diebert claimed ignorance of the offenses by saying Scaggs handled all paperwork for the business, and that both attempted to blame the Ohio Bureau of Workers' Compensation for the problem.
"All I see is the pointing of fingers," Mayberry said.
The judge noted that the business received an unfair advantage over all other roofing companies, which paid higher labor costs by making their required workers' compensation contributions. He also noted that victims in the case, in addition to the BWC, were all the clients who thought they were employing protected workers.
Two BWC representatives, Special Agent Craig Matthews and auditor Ben Croley, testified during the sentencing hearing Friday to reinforce damage to the state system and defend the precise amount of restitution ordered.
Defense attorneys - Scott Coon representing Scaggs and Charles Boyk representing Diebert - argued against figures concluded from audits of the business. Each requested community control in lieu of prison for their clients.
After sentencing, each attorney requested their client be appointed counsel for pending appeals.
Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Thomas Matuszak requested an evidentiary hearing to evaluate the defendants' indigency in future matters. Mayberry granted a request by Coon and Boyk that other counsel be appointed for that hearing.
 

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