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In Re: Richard E. Becraft

November 19, 2010

IN RE: RICHARD E. BECRAFT RICHARD E. BECRAFT APPLICANT


COMMRSOF A THREE- I

[Cite as

In re Becraft,

The Ohio Judicial Center 65 South Front Street, Fourth Floor Columbus, OH 43215 614.387.9860 or 1.800.824.8263 www.cco.state.oh.us

Commissioners: Elizabeth Luper Schuster, Presiding Gregory P. Barwell Randi M. Ostry

SIONER PANEL

{1}On June 19, 2009, the applicant, Richard E. Becraft, filed a compensation application as the result of an assault which occurred on May 26, 2009. On September 9, 2009, the Attorney General issued a finding of fact and decision determining the applicant met all jurisdictional requirements necessary to receive an award of reparations and was granted an award in the amount of $2,403.59 of which $1,793.80 represented reimbursement of medical expenses, $17.29 represented reimbursement of pharmacy expenses, and $592.50 represented attorney fees incurred for obtaining a civil protection order. The applicant's claim for reimbursement of medical bills at Miami Valley Hospital and Springfield Regional Center was denied because the Attorney General asserted the applicant could receive reimbursement for these expenses from the Hospital Care Assurance Program (HCAP). Finally, the applicant's claim for work loss was denied since this loss could not be verified.

{2}On October 5, 2009, the applicant submitted a request for reconsideration asserting he did experience work loss as the result of the injuries he sustained at the time of the criminally injurious conduct. On December 1, 2009, the Attorney General rendered a Final Decision finding no reason to modify the initial decision with respect to work loss.

The Attorney General contended due to inconsistencies in the applicant's work history his 2009 income tax return was necessary before work loss could be calculated. On December 18, 2009, the applicant filed a notice of appeal from the December 1, 2009 Final Decision of the Attorney General. Hence, a hearing was held before this panel of commissioners on March 17, 2010 at 11:00 A.M.

{3}The applicant, Richard Becraft, and his attorney, Robert Vaughn, appeared at the hearing, while the state of Ohio was represented by Assistant Attorneys General Matthew Karam and Matthew Hellman.

{4}The sole issue in this case is the amount of work loss suffered by the applicant as a result of the injuries he sustained at the time of the criminally injurious conduct.

{5}The applicant, Richard Becraft, was called to testify. He stated he was self employed as a commercial contractor and in the past few years, however, due to the economic downturn, his business slowed. As a result he has had to transform his business into one that provides residential maintenance and tree cutting.

{6}Mr. Becraft described the assault, the injuries he sustained, and the long term effect those injuries had on his ability to engage in gainful employment. In fact, the applicant stated he has been unable to work since the date of the criminal assault, May 26, 2009. Even though the applicant has been unable to work, his business has incurred ongoing expenses. He related he has a bank note which needs to be paid in the amount of $4,700.00, for business equipment. Furthermore, he stated although his 2009 tax return has not been filed, he is confident that he will experience a financial loss, due to the fact he was unable to work after May 29, 2009.

{7}Upon cross-examination, Mr. Becraft stated he has a monthly house payment and living expenses. He also has ongoing contracts with Speedway and Super America. Whereupon, the testimony of Mr. Becraft was concluded.

{8}The Attorney General called William Fulcher, Assistant Section Chief for the Crime Victims Unit of the Attorney General's Office, to testify. Mr. Fulcher testified concerning how work loss is calculated when income generated involves self-employed individuals. First, it is desirable to obtain the tax return of the victim for the year of the injury to verify that the applicant is in the same business. Also, the tax return is the best indication of what the applicant was earning at the time of his injury. In the case at bar, the 2009 tax return had not yet been filed, accordingly, the last verified tax return was 2007, which indicated the applicant's business suffered a loss.

{9}The Attorney General introduced State's Exhibit A, a memorandum prepared by Mr. Fulcher on March 2, 2010. Self employment income was calculated by adding Line 31 of the applicant's income tax return(net profit or loss) to Line 13 (depreciation), and Line ...


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