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

Judge orders Federal Way woman to repay nearly $25,000 in workers' comp scam

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July 19, 2016 #16-030

Seattle – A Federal Way woman who worked full time as a nanny while claiming she was too disabled to work pleaded guilty Monday to felony theft.

Yurizan Cuevas, 33, was ordered to repay the Department of Labor & Industries (L&I) $24,847, the amount she received in wage-replacement payments over a period of almost 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.

Cuevas, who's also known as Yurizan Cuevas Nava, pleaded guilty at the hearing this week to second-degree theft.

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

Injured in workplace robbery

Cuevas 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.

Health care 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.

Report workers' comp fraud

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

"If people know of someone committing workers' comp fraud, we want them to let us know so we can do something about it."

Report workers' comp fraud at www.Lni.wa.gov/fraud or call 888-811-5974.

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For media information: Debby Abe, L&I Public Affairs, debby.abe@Lni.wa.gov, (360) 902-6043.

Connect with L&I: Facebook (facebook.com/laborandindustries) and Twitter (twitter.com/lniwa)

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