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July 11, 2001

Seattle man ordered to repay state $32,000

TUMWATER - The state has ordered a 43-year-old Seattle man to repay more than $32,000 after an investigation showed he collected workers' compensation benefits illegally.

Labor & Industries ordered Nathan B. McLemore to return $21,793 in time-loss benefits collected fraudulently between September 1998 and December 2000. State law allows an additional 50 percent penalty, bringing the repayment order to $32,689.

Time-loss benefits partially compensate injured workers for wages lost while they're unable to work due to their injury.

McLemore was receiving time-loss benefits for an on-the-job injury he sustained in May 1996 while working for an auto body shop in Kirkland.

The department started an investigation after a cross-match of data with the Employment Security Department found wages were reported for McLemore while he was receiving time-loss benefits.

The investigation showed McLemore worked for five different employers located in Seattle, Redmond, Lacey and Lakewood during the time he reported to L&I that he was incapable of returning to work because of his on-the-job injury.

Labor & Industries manages the state's workers' compensation system. It provides coverage for more than 163,000 employers and 1.9 million workers.

L&I is committed to preventing and fighting fraud. Anyone who suspects fraudulent activity may report it anonymously online at fraud.lni.wa.gov or by calling 1-888-811-5974.

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