Spokane Man found guilty of stealing workers' compensation benefits

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SPOKANE —An anonymous tip led to a guilty verdict for a Spokane man accused of stealing more than $30,000 worth of workers’ compensation benefits, the Department of Labor & Industries announced today.

Christopher Koker, 53, suffered a job-related injury in March 1999 and received medical treatments and time-loss compensation because of his inability to work.

The L&I investigation revealed Koker had organized and managed 11 gun shows between May 6, 2006 and Nov. 10, 2007, all while collecting time-loss benefits.

Investigators also discovered Koker was assisting in operations at a Spokane gun store.

A Spokane County Superior Court jury convicted Koker on all 26 counts of second degree theft for which he was charged. He is facing a prison sentence of 22 – 29 months plus restitution payments totaling $31,309. Sentencing is scheduled April 6 at 4 p.m.

“The jury’s decision continues the Department’s 100% conviction rate,” said Carl Hammersburg, Fraud Prevention and Compliance Manager at L&I. “They easily saw through Mr. Koker’s deception to the fraud he committed.”

The tip that led to this conviction came through an online form for reporting fraud, at fraud.lni.wa.gov. Anyone who suspects fraud may also call L&I’s fraud hotline at 1-888-811-5974.

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For media information: Selena Davis, L&I, 360-902-6878.

 

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