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April 30, 2001

Snohomish County man ordered to repay state $30,000

TUMWATER - The state has ordered a 36-year-old Lake Stevens man to repay more than $30,000 after an investigation showed he collected workers' compensation benefits illegally for several months.

Labor & Industries ordered Edward J. Lee to return $20,321 in time-loss benefits collected fraudulently from March 1999 through October 2000. State law allows for an additional 50 percent penalty, bringing the repayment order to $30,482.

Time-loss benefits partially compensate injured workers for wages lost while they're unable to work due to their injury.

Lee was receiving time-loss benefits for a May 13, 1994 on-the-job injury he sustained while working for an auto and truck service company in Monroe.

The department launched an investigation after finding discrepancies in Social Security numbers used by Lee. 

The investigation showed Lee had worked for three other employers during the time he reported to the department that he was incapable of returning to work because of his on-the-job 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 online at fraud.lni.wa.gov or by calling 360-902-5159.

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