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Oct. 4, 1996

L&I orders Arizona woman to repay $291,000 in workers' comp fraud

TUMWATER - An Arizona woman has been ordered to repay the Department of Labor & Industries $291,000 for fraudulently collecting workers' compensation benefits since 1984.

An investigation by L&I showed that Twila Edmondson, a.k.a. Twila Gipson, Sun City, Ariz., fraudulently collected pension benefits in the name of her former husband, Wayne Edmondson. He died on the job in Richland, Wash., on July 28, 1978.

Twila Edmondson, 62, collected pension benefits as an unmarried spouse following the accident. She remarried in October 1984, but failed to report this to L&I and continued to receive benefits. Records show Edmondson was receiving $1,697 in monthly payments, adjusted annually for inflation.

The order for repayment includes a 50 percent penalty of $97,000 as allowed by law.

L&I manages the workers' compensation system in Washington. It is commonly referred to as the State Fund.

The department encourages tips from individuals who believe they may have information about a person fraudulently receiving benefits. Anonymous calls may be made to the L&I service location listed in the state government pages of the local telephone directory.

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