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

Dental hygienist pleads guilty for lying to state in workers' comp case

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April 2, 2018 #18-008

Seattle – A Lynnwood woman has been sentenced to community service after admitting she lied when she claimed she wasn't working while receiving workers' comp benefits.

Shari Lee Kristiansen, 55, pleaded guilty on Thursday to making a false or misleading statement to the state Department of Labor & Industries (L&I). The agency administers the state workers' compensation system, which helps workers who are injured on the job heal and return to work.

King County Superior Court Judge Pro Tem Ken Comstock sentenced Kristiansen to serve 180 hours of community service. Under terms of the deferred sentence, the gross misdemeanor charge will be dismissed after two years if she makes no further false statements to L&I, does not break the law, and complies with other requirements.

In pleading guilty, Kristiansen stated she made a false or misleading statement when she signed an L&I form verifying that she wasn't employed when she was actually working part time.

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

Routine records check triggers investigation

Kristiansen filed a claim with L&I in March 2013, saying she injured her thumbs and hands while working as a dental hygienist for several dentists in King and Snohomish counties.

L&I provided medical and wage-replacement benefits to Kristiansen based on her physicians' assessments and her signed declarations. An L&I investigation later found she worked for various dentists for much of the time she was receiving workers' comp benefits.

L&I started the investigation after a routine comparison of L&I and state Employment Security Department records.

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

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

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