News | Communication Services, 360-902-5400 - PublicAffairs@Lni.wa.gov

Language interpreter sentenced for padding bill to state

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February 22, 2013

Tumwater – A Seattle man will pay more than $5,000 in fines and restitution after pleading guilty to charges that he overbilled the state for Spanish language interpretive services.

Appearing this week in King County Superior Court, Barak J. Ramon was sentenced to 15 days in jail converted to 120 hours of community service and a total of $5,144.20 in fines and restitution. The bulk of the fine, $4,544.20, goes to the Department of Labor & Industries (L&I).

Ramon was one of many contractors hired by L&I to provide language interpretive services between injured workers and their doctors or other treatment providers. The contracted interpreters then bill the agency for services rendered, travel and other expenses.

L&I investigators discovered several different schemes used by Ramon to increase his charges to the agency including:

  • Billing for higher individual interpretive rates when group rates applied.
  • Billing for hours he did not work.
  • Double-billing for mileage.
  • Padded billing. 

Ramon eventually pled guilty to one count of second degree theft and one count of forgery. 

L&I’s Fraud Prevention and Compliance Program assessed $24.6 million in unpaid employer premiums plus penalties in fiscal year 2012. The program brings in nearly $9.30 for every dollar spent to fight fraud. More information is available at www.Lni.wa.gov/Main/Fraud.

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For media information: Dave Wasser (dave.wasser@Lni.wa.gov) 360-902-5288

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Broadcast Version:

A Seattle man will pay more than $5,000 in fines and restitution after pleading guilty to charges that he overbilled the state for Spanish language interpretive services.Appearing this week in King County Superior Court, Barak J. Ramon was sentenced to 15 days in jail converted to 120 hours of community service and a total of $5,144.20 in fines and restitution. Ramon was under contract with the Washington State Department of Labor & Industries to provide language interpretive services between injured workers and their doctors or other treatment providers. The contracted interpreters then bill the agency for services rendered, travel and other expenses. An L&I investigation determined that Ramon used a variety of schemes to bilk the state including billing for hours he did not work, double-billing his mileage, and padding his bills.

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