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August 21, 1997

Moclips man gets 20-day sentence in fraud case

TUMWATER - A Moclips man has been sentenced to 20 days in jail after pleading guilty to illegally collecting $145,000 in workers' compensation benefits.

A Thurston County Superior Court judge Aug. 20 sentenced Mark W. Johnson, Moclips, to 20 days in jail and one year of community supervision. Restitution will be determined at a later date. Johnson pleaded guilty to first-degree theft.

An investigation by the Department of Labor & Industries (L&I) last year showed that Johnson collected $145,000 in disability benefits even though he had been working. He suffered a severe hand injury in 1983 while working for a car dealership in Olympia.

The department has ordered Johnson to repay the $145,000 plus a 50 percent penalty allowed by law.

L&I encourages anyone who suspects fraudulent activity to contact the nearest department office. The telephone numbers are in the local directory under the state government listings.

L&I manages the workers' compensation system in Washington.

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