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November 1, 2000

Former Spokane County man ordered to repay state $48,500

TUMWATER - The state has ordered a 50-year-old man, formerly of Colbert, to repay more than $48,000 after an investigation showed he collected workers' compensation benefits illegally for more than a year.

Labor & Industries ordered Rickey V. Barry - currently living in Priest River, ID - to return $32,355 in time-loss benefits collected fraudulently from May 1996 through January 1998. State law allows for an additional 50 percent penalty, bringing the repayment order to $48,533.

Barry was receiving workers' compensation benefits for an Aug. 10, 1995 on-the-job injury he sustained while working as a distributor for a Spokane bakery supply company.

An investigation showed that Barry had been working as a sales representative in Washington, Idaho and Montana, and as a truck driver and backhoe operator in Idaho while he was receiving workers' compensation benefits. During that period, Barry 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 more than 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 360-902-6548 or online at fraud.lni.wa.gov.

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