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Retired Canton police officer pleads guilty to workers' compensation fraud

Blaine BWC Fraud.jpg
Posted at 10:49 AM, Nov 13, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-13 10:49:31-05

CANTON, Ohio — A retired Canton police officer has been ordered to pay tens of thousands of dollars in restitution after he pleaded guilty to workers' compensation fraud.

According to the Bureau of Workers' Compensation, James H. Blaine, of North Canton, pleaded guilty to a fourth-degree felony Thursday in the Stark County Court of Common Pleas. He was ordered to pay $66,481 in restitution and an additional $23,000 in investigative costs. Additionally, he was placed on probation for three years, ordered to obtain a full time job and perform 100 hours of community service.

Authorities say the investigation and charge was unrelated to Blaine’s work as a Canton police officer, which he retired from in 1997.

In 2017, investigators found that Blaine was running his own landscaping business and working as a security guard for a private company while receiving permanent disability benefits for an injury he previously received while working at a salt company, according to BWC.

“If you’re working two jobs, you’re clearly not permanently disabled,” said BWC Administrator/CEO Stephanie McCloud. “Kudos to our investigators for detecting this fraud and putting a stop to it.”

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