Washington state fraud program brings in millions

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Tumwater, WA – More than $137 million was collected last year by the Washington State Department of Labor and Industries’ workers' compensation fraud program, according to a new report issued Jan. 18.

The annual report (.pdf file) to the state's legislature details the money the program collected from employer premiums, audit assessments, overpayments to workers, health care and vocational providers, and fraud recovery orders.

According to the report, L&I's Fraud Prevention and Compliance Program brought in $7 for every $1 invested in 2010.

Highlights from the report include:

  • Completion of 5,789 claimant investigations of suspected workers' comp fraud or abuse, which was a record
  • Assessed $26.4 million through employer audits, including $7.2 million against companies who hired employees but failed to open a workers' comp account
  • Seventeen cases were referred for criminal prosecution

L&I said in a press release the collections were evidence of the success of targeting and enforcement working.

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