Judge Tells Washington Woman to Repay $25K in Workers’ Comp Scam

July 20, 2016

A Washington woman injured in a robbery at her workplace pleaded guilty this week to felony theft.

Yurizan Cuevas, 33, of Federal Way, reportedly worked full time as a nanny while claiming she was too disabled to work

Cuevas was ordered to repay the Department of Labor & Industries $24,847. That’s the amount she reportedly received in wage-replacement payments over a period of nearly two years.

King County Superior Court Judge Bruce Heller also sentenced Cuevas to 20 days in jail, which was converted to 160 hours of community service.

workers_compCuevas was a baker and cashier at a cafe in the White Center neighborhood of Seattle when it was robbed in November 2010. While running from the robber, she hit a wall and injured her back.

Healthcare providers verified Cuevas couldn’t work because of injuries from the incident, allowing her to receive wage-replacement payments from L&I.

An L&I investigation later found that Cuevas worked as a nanny for nearly two years while stating on official forms that she was unable to work because of her injuries.

“Workers’ compensation is intended to help employees heal from on-the-job injuries so they can return to work,” Annette Taylor, deputy assistant director in L&I’s Fraud Prevention & Labor Standards, said in a statement. “People like Ms. Cuevas who try to game the system are cheating their employers and fellow employees.

The Washington Attorney General’s Office prosecuted the case based on an L&I investigation.

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