A former Tri-Cities construction worker who said an on-the-job injury made him too disabled to work now faces a felony theft charge in Washington State.
The Washington Attorney General’s Office charged Richard Robson Trott, 47, with first-degree theft of workers compensation benefits. He’s accused of fraudulently receiving more than $10,236 in wage-replacement checks last year from the Department of Labor & Industries (L&I).
The charge stems from an L&I investigation that was triggered by comparing state records.
“Some people may think cheating the system is easy money, but it’s not,” said Elizabeth Smith, assistant director of L&I’s Fraud Prevention & Labor Standards. “We regularly catch workers comp crooks by cross-checking L&I data with that of other public agencies.”
Claims Too Injured to Work
Trott filed a claim for L&I workers comp benefits in May 2014, after he was hurt working for a construction firm, charging papers said.
Trott, who twisted his right knee while stepping off a ladder at a Moses Lake job site, repeatedly submitted official documents claiming he couldn’t work because of the injury.
He received medical services and wage-replacement payments from L&I until early September of last year.
Later, a routine cross-check of L&I and Employment Security Department data showed that Trott was earning wages from two construction firms — one based in Battle Ground and the other in Selah — during the same period he stated he was unable to work, charging papers said.
This isn’t Trott’s first brush with the law.
His previous convictions include second-degree theft, unlawful issuance of a check, attempted felony harassment, fourth-degree assault and other crimes, according to court records. He also has several active arrest warrants stemming from failing to pay fines or restitution.
Author Kori Shafer-Stack, Editor, Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. is an expert in post-injury response procedures and part of the Amaxx team helping companies reduce their workers compensation costs by 20% to 50%. www.reduceyourworkerscomp.com. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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