AUGUSTA — A 47-year-old Charlotte man has been ordered to repay the state $8,687 for illegally collecting workers’ compensation benefits last year.

The restitution was ordered last week as part of the sentence imposed on Clinton J. Ashby II, who was found guilty by a jury in September of committing theft by deception.

Ashby was sentenced last week in Kennebec County Superior Court to 15 months in jail, with all but 30 days suspended, and two years of probation.

The state, through Assistant Attorney General Leanne Robbin, requested Ashby be sentenced to two years in jail with all but an initial 90 days suspended.

“We think a 30-day sentence is a significant deterrent to others who would seek to cheat the workers’ comp system,” Robbin said Tuesday. “He has also suffered other serious consequences as a result of his lying: He has lost his job, his house is in foreclosure and he plans to file for bankruptcy.”

Attorney Walter McKee, who represented Ashby at trial, said, “The state’s request for a 90-day sentence didn’t make sense given Clint’s total lack of any record. As much as this was a hard-fought trial, the 30 days in jail was a fair sentence.”

McKee said Ashby is expected to begin serving the 30 days this weekend.

According to documents filed with the court by Robbin, Ashby collected the benefits “based on his false claim that he did not have work capacity due to a neck injury.” However, on surveillance videos, it appeared “he was able to perform full-time, full-duty work,” she said.

Investigators looking into possible fraud took the videos, which were played for jurors during the two-day trial. They showed Ashby swinging a sledge hammer, using a crow bar and running heavy equipment between May and November 2011 while he received benefits because he was reportedly too disabled to work.

Betty Adams — 621-5631
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