Wash. Man Ordered to Repay $114,000

April 5, 2002

A Washington man has been ordered to repay the state $114,000 for benefits and penalties after he allegedly collected disability payments while being employed at various jobs in Central Washington.

A laborer and farm worker, Francisco Soriano-Arias is reported to have worked under the alias of Juan Martinez while collecting benefits for an injury he sustained more than 20 years ago. Soriano-Arias allegedly used the name Juan Rameriz while working for a potato processing plant in late August of 1980. He reportedly was working on a potato machine when his right hand got caught, resulting in three surgeries.

Washington’s Department of Labor and Industries (L&I) tried to close the claim over the years, but was thwarted each time by Soriano-Arias and his attorney, who appealed and triumphed.

L&I began its investigation when it received an anonymous letter that alleged Soriano-Arias was working under an alias while using another Social Security number. The investigation discovered that while reporting he was disabled and gathering benefits, Soriano-Arias was employed in a variety of full-time positions.

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