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July 28, 1998

Lacey man faces theft charge in connection with fraud case

TUMWATER – A Lacey man has been charged with first-degree theft and ordered by the Department of Labor & Industries to repay almost $14,000 in connection with a workers’ compensation fraud case.

Thurston County Prosecuting Attorney Bernardean Broadous this week charged Scot E. Nelson, 39, 1919 Mayes Road S.E., with first-degree theft. Arraignment is scheduled Aug. 5 in Superior Court.

The charge came after Labor & Industries ordered Nelson to repay workers’ compensation benefits the department claims he collected fraudulently.

The department’s investigation revealed Nelson performed construction work as an unregistered and unlicensed contractor while receiving benefits for an on-the-job shoulder injury sustained in October 1997, while employed at a truss-manufacturing firm in Olympia.

Between October 20, 1997, and March 18, 1998, Nelson collected $9,300 in payments to replace income lost while he was injured. Nelson received the benefits even though he filed statements with the department saying that he was physically unable to work. State law allows for an additional 50 percent penalty, which brings the repayment order to $13,900.

Labor & Industries manages the workers’ compensation system in Washington. It oversees premium payments and benefits for 163,000 employers and 1.4 million workers.

Anyone who suspects fraudulent activity may report anonymously to the nearest Labor & Industries office.

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