Over the past decade, Ohio employers often enjoyed an annual discount on their workers' compensation insurance"”more than $10 billion in total savings. The Ohio Bureau of Workers' Compensation (BWC) invests insurance premiums paid by private and public employers, and justified these dividends or rebates based on investment earnings.

The dividends resulted in significant savings on premiums paid by employers, especially those in industries with higher injury risks, according to Angela M. Wright, Vice President, Sheakley UniService, Inc., in Cincinnati. For example, an employer in the construction industry with 50 employees received a $4,700 dividend on a $23,500 premium during the January-June 2004 period. One employer in the clerical business, with 58 employees, received a $577 dividend on a $2,900 premium payment for the same period.

Then scandal hit in the spring of 2005.

BWC had invested $50 million in rare coins"”and lost up to $13 million"”in a venture run ...

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