Washington State Man May Get Decade Behind Bars
A Washington State man certainly wasn’t the apple of a superior court’s eyes recently, charged with first degree felony theft for illegally collecting workers compensation benefits.
As the Department of Labor & Industries (L&I) points out, Doyle Ronald Wheeler, 36, of Spokane, reportedly obtained benefits during the period of 2008 to 2011 on a workplace-injury claim for a neck and back injury.
Wheeler’s benefits ceased once an investigation deemed he was behind the operation of his own business -The Pensmith, Ammo Head Design and Ammo Head Hydrographics – this while collecting workers comp.
Claimant Said He Was Unable to Work
According to Wheeler, he was unable to work once a slow-moving pickup truck backed into him at his workplace, Toby’s Body and Fender.
According to a videotape of the accident, Wheeler displayed no signs of injury after contact with the vehicle. Videotapes taken following the accident by L&I investigators demonstrate Wheeler coming to his physical therapy appointments, where his shoulder seems to sag and his movements stiffen as he nears the office. Not long after his physical therapy appointments, Wheeler goes back to moving around with ease. Wheeler was arraigned recently in Spokane County Superior Court.
Jail, Fine Could Be Severe
As he awaits his fate, Wheeler could receive a maximum sentence of up to a decade in prison and a fine of up to $20,000.
The court could also order Wheeler to repay the more than $113,000 in benefits gathered via fraud. Given both the potential jail time and fine, Wheeler could really see something to cause him pain.
Author Michael B. Stack, CPA, Director of Operations, Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. is an expert in employer communication systems and part of the Amaxx team helping companies reduce their workers compensation costs by 20% to 50%. He is a writer, speaker, and website publisher. www.reduceyourworkerscomp.com.
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