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January 27, 1999

State files 31 felony charges against Yakima man and son


Readers please note: These charges were dismissed "with prejudice" by the Yakima County Superior Court on June 29, 2001. Dismissing charges with prejudice means that they cannot be resubmitted to the court. The Department of Labor & Industries case on this matter is closed.

Thirty-one felony charges have been filed against a Yakima man and his son for submitting false statements to a state agency in connection with payments for hearing aids.

The state Attorney General's Office filed the charges this week in Yakima County Superior Court against Donald Raymond Deardorff, 57, and his son Donald "Ray" Deardorff, 37. The men are accused of filing eight false statements with the state Department of Labor & Industries to get $11,166 more than they were entitled to for providing hearings aids to injured workers.

According to court documents, the Deardorffs submitted another 23 false billings, which would have paid them $32,455 more than they should have received. These bills were not paid, according to the documents.

The Deardorffs ran Mid-State Hearing Aid Systems. The firm supplied hearing aids to workers who suffered hearing impairment related to current or past employment.

The court charges claim the Deardorffs submitted false billings prior to Labor & Industries beginning a cap on fees for hearings aids. The new payment system began Dec. 1, 1996.

Labor & Industries manages the workers' compensation system in Washington. It oversees benefits, such as hearing aids, for qualified injured workers.

The system covers almost 1.6 million employees who work for 163,000 employers.

The charges against the Deardorffs were investigated and will be prosecuted by the Economic Crime Unit of the Attorney General's Office. Labor & Industries and the state Department of Revenue finance the unit.

For more information, contact John Carver, Economic Crime Unit, (206) 389-2017.


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