From the U.S. Attorney's Office, Northern District of Ohio:
A North Royalton man was sentenced to seven months in prison and ordered to repay the $245,000 he fraudulently received from Social Security and Ohio Workers’ Compensation.
Louis C. Cooper, 57, previously pleaded guilty to wire fraud and theft of government property.
Cooper fraudulently collected benefits from Social Security and Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation while concealing his employment as a general contractor. Cooper had been entitled to disability payments from a work-related injury in 1996. However, Cooper was required to report to both agencies whether he returned to work, which would terminate his ability to receive continued payments from both agencies, according to court documents.
Cooper developed a scheme where he could conceal his income as general contractor by asking his clients to not pay him directly. For the past eight years, Cooper earned at least $185,000 as a general contractor, but reported to both agencies numerous times that he was too injured to work in order to fraudulently secure an additional $245,000 total from both agencies, according to court documents.
Special Agents Kelly Clark from the Social Security Administration Office of the Inspector General and Mike George from the Ohio Bureau of Workers' Compensation, Special Investigations Department, conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Payum Doroodian is prosecuting the case.