Ex-Police Chief in Washington Turned Pinup Model Charged with Workers’ Comp Fraud

A Snohomish County, Wash., woman faces two charges of making false or misleading statements to collect more than $67,000 in workers’ compensation benefits from the Washington State Department of Labor & Industries.

Brenda Lynn Cavoretto was police chief of a small town in Grant County, when a corpse fell on her during a police call. She reportedly suffered back, shoulder, and abdominal injuries and, she claimed, such severe psychological trauma she couldn’t work or be around other people.

An investigation reportedly found Cavoretto was actually working and volunteering as a pinup model – people who are photographed in the style of actresses Betty Grable and Rita Hayworth during World War II. Cavoretto did all this while telling the state she couldn’t work due to her on-the-job injuries.

Cavoretto, 47, of Gold Bar, was scheduled for arraignment on Monday, in Thurston County District Court in Olympia. The Washington Attorney General’s Office is prosecuting the case based on an L&I investigation.

The charges cover Cavoretto’s official declarations on L&I forms from September 2018 to February 2020 that she was unable to work in any employment.

Cavoretto was police chief of Coulee City when she was hurt in February 2012. A domestic violence suspect had hanged himself in a barn, and as she tried to take down the body, the 285-pound corpse fell on her.

Later that year, she worked as a police officer in Soap Lake until May 2013, when she began receiving L&I wage-replacement payments and vocational services due to lingering effects from the falling corpse incident.

In May 2015, Cavoretto began seeing a psychologist. She reportedly told him she was having nightmares and was unable to leave the house, charging papers said, and the psychologist determined she was suffering from depression and post-traumatic stress disorder.

In the spring of 2019, however, an L&I case manager requested Cavoretto be investigated. He noted she had been receiving mental health treatment for four years without any improvement.

The L&I investigation found that from 2015 through early 2020, Cavoretto was photographing pinup models, organizing pinup pageants and fundraisers, and was often photographed herself under such names as Tuff As Nailz and The Black Widow Bettie.

She posted on social media that in 2015 she appeared as a model and photographer in 52 publications, including three magazine covers and three calendars, charging papers said.

Some of her pinup activities were through Annabella Derringer, a modeling, event, and photography business that she licensed with the state Department of Revenue in 2015.

Other activities were through her husband’s publication, Electric Pinup Magazine, and her nonprofit group, Electric Pinup Dolls, which raised money for veterans, firefighters, and law enforcement.

Last October, Cavoretto told a crowd at a Sultan bar and grill that Electric Pinup Dolls had become a “full-time job” and that the group raised $20,000 in 2018.