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June 5, 1996

Department orders Elma man to return $69,000 in fraud case

The Department of Labor & Industries has ordered an Elma man to repay $69,000 in fraudulently collected workers' compensation benefits.

Acting on an anonymous tip, department investigators discovered that David Lee Wyatt, 44, operated a portable sawmill business at the same time he was receiving benefits for a shoulder injured while working for an Aberdeen employer in February 1990.

The benefits included payments for time missed from work, $6,700 for medical bills and $4,550 for vocational rehabilitation services.

The investigation showed Wyatt ran his business from December 1994 to March 1996 and collected benefits totaling $46,000. This included payment for a surgery in 1995 that would have been unnecessary had he not been running his sawmill operation.

The department's order for repayment includes a 50-percent penalty as allowed by law.

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