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August 17, 2000

Dancer ordered to repay state $57,000 in fraud case

TUMWATER - The state has ordered a 37-year-old man, formerly of Seattle, to repay more than $57,000 after an investigation showed he collected workers' compensation benefits illegally for more than a year.

Labor & Industries ordered Andre Reyes - currently living in San Anselmo, CA - to return $38,547 in time-loss benefits collected fraudulently from Feb. 3, 1997 through Nov. 15, 1998. State law allows for an additional 50 percent penalty, bringing the repayment order to $57,820.

Reyes was receiving workers' compensation benefits for a May 22, 1996 on-the-job injury he sustained while working as a dancer for the Pacific Northwest Ballet in Seattle.

An investigation showed that Reyes had been working as a ballet dancer and dance instructor in California while he was receiving workers' compensation benefits. During that period, Reyes filed statements to the department indicating he was unable to work due to his injury.

Labor & Industries manages the state's workers' compensation system. It provides coverage for about 163,000 employers and 1.9 million workers.

L&I is committed to preventing and fighting fraud. Anyone who suspects fraudulent activity may report it anonymously to L&I by calling 360-902-5153 or online at fraud.lni.wa.gov.

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