Whack a Fraudster


Have you ever stood up fast and whacked your head on something? (It hurts.) A roofing company service technician who hit his head on a support joist at a construction site, injured his neck and subsequently collected more than $12,000 from the Washington State Department of Labor & Industries (L&I) in workers’ compensation benefits. (Somewhere along the way he lost his smarts and moonlighted while receiving government checks he did not deserve. A definite faux pas.)

The injured worker filed a workers’ compensation claim and his medical providers did verify that he had head and neck injuries that legitimately prevented him from working full time. The man declared on official L&I forms that he was unable to work and was not employed because of his on-the-job injury. (Well, that was not exactly true.)

Although he claimed he was too injured to work, he was busy being gainfully employed as a tow truck driver for a used car dealership in Seattle for nine months. (Not exactly a job where someone with a neck injury should work.)

The former roof technician pleaded guilty to a felony, second-degree theft. The 30-year-old was sentenced to 20 days in jail, but got off with 160 hours of community service instead. He will also repay the State of Washington $12,585 or the amount of disability benefits he wrongly collected.

While this man may have legitimately whacked his head and injured his neck, it doesn’t give him the right to steal benefits from the businesses and employees who support the workers’ compensation system. Congratulations to the government who caught him and whacked him back with a punishment that should get his attention. (Let’s hope that this man will get smart and not commit another crime.)

Source: Today’s ”Fraud of the Day” is based on an article entitled, ”South King County man ordered to repay more than $12,000 in workers’ comp scam,” posted by the Washington State Department of Labor & Industries on lni.wa.gov on February 10, 2017.

Seattle – A service technician who claimed he was too injured to work yet got a job driving a tow truck pleaded guilty Friday in a workers’ comp scam.

Kyle Valle, 30, of Algona, pleaded guilty to felony, second-degree theft. King County Superior Court Judge Hollis R. Hill sentenced Valle to 20 days in jail, but allowed the jail time to be converted to 160 hours of community service. Hill also ordered Valle to repay the state $12,585, the amount of disability benefits he wrongfully received.

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Larry Benson
Larry Benson is currently the Director of Strategic Alliances for Revenue Discovery and Recovery at LexisNexis Risk Solutions. In this role, Benson is responsible for developing partnerships for the tax and revenue and child support enforcement verticals. He focuses on embedded companies that have a need for third-party analytics to enhance their current offerings.