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Seattle cab driver faces 15 felony counts for workers' comp fraud

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August 1, 2013

Tumwater – The Washington Department of Labor & Industries (L&I) says a 54 year old Seattle man has been charged with 15 counts of second degree theft in connection with more than $262,000 he received in workers' compensation and other benefits.

The Attorney General's Office filed the charges against Shahin I. Shahin in King County Superior Court earlier this week. He is scheduled to make his first court appearance August 12. Shahin could face up to five years in prison plus fines and restitution for each of the 15 counts.

Shahin filed an industrial injury claim with L&I in 1996 for injuries he sustained when a security door fell on him while employed at a Seattle restaurant. He received time-loss compensation through 2001, and was then granted total permanent disability — receiving pension benefits through May of 2012.

An investigation revealed that Shahin had legally changed his name in 1998, and that he drove a taxi from 1996 through March 2012. Court documents show that Shahin received two medical examinations to obtain his cab driver's license, showing he was medically cleared to drive a taxi.

During the time he drove the cab, Shahin allegedly signed a number of official documents stating that he was not employed and was unable to work due to the injuries he suffered.

The 15 counts filed against Shahin are for payments he accepted in 2011 and 2012. According to the Attorney General's Office, Shahin's employment records were most complete during that timeframe.

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For media information: Renee Guillierie, L&I, 360-902-5673.

Broadcast version:

A 54 year old Seattle man has been charged with 15 counts of second degree theft in connection with more than $262,000 he received in workers' compensation benefits. The Department of Labor & Industries said Shahin Shanin drove a cab in Seattle for more than 15 years, while claiming that he couldn't work because of injuries he suffered at work in 1996.

L&I said Shahin signed numerous documents during that time saying he was not employed, and could not work because of the injuries. However, he received two medical examinations to receive his cab driver’s license and was medically cleared to drive a taxi. He could face up to five years in prison plus fines and restitution for each of the 15 counts.

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