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Spokane woman charged with defrauding state of $100,000

Crimes involving physical assaults can bring great injury or death to people, which brings the most serious charges by any state, including Washington. However, other crimes, such as grand larceny and fraud, also greatly damage people and these also merit prosecution by the state with severe punishments when there are convictions.

In Spokane recently, such criminal charges were filed against a 52-year-old woman for allegedly defrauding the state of $100,000 in disability benefits. Her first-degree felony theft charges stem from an investigation following her September 2010 disability claim for an alleged job injury. The woman reportedly sustained injuries to her neck, back and shoulder while working at Sunset Junction, a nightclub in Spokane. After several physicians confirmed her injuries, the accused submitted her claim and received almost $59,000 in wage-replacement payments and more than $42,000 in vocational and medical payments. She also signed forms that indicated her injuries prevented her from working.

Authorities later alleged that the woman was able to work and that the state's Labor and Industries investigation found that she had been working at the nightclub. An investigator also claimed that the woman was working at the Lascelle Motel while collecting worker's compensation benefits. Court documents also allege that the supposedly injured employee was able to climb stairs during L&I's undercover investigation.

Many criminal charges have substantial penalties for those convicted. Both convictions and penalties, especially prison sentences, can have long-term consequences on employment, education and other opportunities. Fortunately, a defendant has the right to be defended against the charges and require the prosecution to prove the charges in court before a judge and jury - and to prove them true beyond a reasonable doubt. The knowledge and guidance of a legal professional can be critical in refuting the charges, challenging evidence and impeaching witness testimony.

Source: Downtownspokane,"Spokane woman faces felony theft charges for $100,000 in disability benefits," Anna Izenman, July 23, 2014

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