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January 30, 2002

Vashon man ordered to repay $59,600 in benefits and penalties

TUMWATER - The Department of Labor & Industries has ordered a 54-year-old Vashon man to repay workers' compensation benefits he fraudulently collected by claiming he was injured and unable to work.

An investigation by L&I found that in 1999 and 2000, Terrill Myers worked as a bookkeeper. During that same period, Myers reported to L&I that he was unable to work because of his on-the-job injury. As a result of that claim, Myers collected benefits, including money for vocational retraining and travel.

Myers was injured in November 1995 while working as a church custodian in Seattle. As a result of that injury, he collected about $39,000 in disability benefits. In administrative fraud cases, state law allows L&I to assess a 50 percent penalty.

Myers was caught when L&I fraud investigators cross-matched their records with records from the state Department of Employment Security.

Labor & Industries manages the workers' compensation system in Washington. It oversees premium payments and benefits for about 160,000 employers and 1.8 million workers.

The department is committed to eliminating fraud. Anyone who suspects such activity may report it anonymously online at fraud.lni.wa.gov or by calling L&I's toll-free number, 1-888-811-5974.

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