WA couple charged in workers’ comp scam

A Washington State couple is looking at five felony charges apiece for their participation in an alleged workers’ comp scam

Workers Comp

By Ryan Smith

 The owners of a Washington State housecleaning business are looking at felony charges for allegedly refusing to pay workers’ compensation premiums and shorting an employee’s wages.

Blake Joseph Standley, 38, and Monica Ann Covey-Standley, 38, are each facing four felony counts of filing false reports to evade workers’ compensation premiums, according to a news release from WorkersCompensation.com. They also have each been charged with a felony count of second-degree theft for their alleged failure to pay an employee.

The case is the result of an investigation by the Washington Department of Labor & Industries, which administers the state’s workers’ comp system.
L&I investigated Kogaty Interiors, a company co-owned by the defendants. According to the agency’s investigation, Blake Standley filed reports in 2013 and 2014 stating that no employees worked for the company – but bank records show they were paying salaries from April of 2014 through early June of 2014.

Prosecutors claim the couple should have paid nearly $12,000 in workers’ comp premiums during that time, according to the release. And L&I records show they now owe more than $77,000, including penalties and interest.

“We aggressively pursue employers who use deception to get out of their responsibility to pay workers and workers' comp premiums,” said Elizabeth Smith, assistant director of Fraud and Labor Standards. “Refusing to pay premiums raises costs for everyone who contributes to the workers' comp system.”

If convicted, the couple could face a fine of up to $10,000 plus restitution and court costs, and up to five years in prison, according to the release.

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