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Jan. 23, 1996

Department orders Everett woman to repay $207,000 in fraud case

TUMWATER - An Everett woman has been ordered to repay $207,000 after an investigation revealed that she concealed her mother's death and fraudulently collected workers' compensation benefits for 14 years.

The Department of Labor & Industries has ordered Peggy L. Maxwell to pay $138,000 in illegally obtained benefits plus a 50-percent penalty, bringing the amount owed to $207,000.

A department investigation showed that between Oct. 16, 1981, and Nov. 15, 1995, Maxwell continued to file documentation in her mother's name that authorized a monthly benefit payment of $1,052.

The state Board of Industrial Insurance Appeals had awarded the mother a permanent disability pension in 1969 that resulted from a workplace injury she suffered several years earlier.

Investigators at Labor & Industries discovered the fraudulent claim by cross-matching social security information about dead individuals with records about claimants receiving pensions from the department.

Additional orders for repayment of fraudulently collected benefits are expected in the future.

Maxwell's case is expected to be referred to the prosecuting attorney in Snohomish County.


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