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October 17, 1996

Department orders Yelm woman to repay $20,800 in fraud case

The Department of Labor & Industries has ordered a Yelm woman to repay $20,800 in fraudulently collected workers' compensation benefits.

Acting on an anonymous tip, a department investigation showed that Lynette Hellner, 44, opened and operated a craft business at the same time she was drawing benefits for being off work and saying she could not hold a job because of a workplace injury.

Hellner received about $13,900 in payments between April 7, 1995, and Sept. 26, 1996, the same period in which she operated her craft business, according to the department.

The repayment order includes a 50 percent penalty as allowed by law.

Labor & Industries manages the workers' compensation system in Washington. 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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For media information, contact: 
L&I Public Affairs at 360-902-5400 or publicaffairs@lni.wa.gov

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