From March 2009 through July 2011, Jamie Beroth, 63, collected $100, 664 on a shoulder injury she claimed happened on the job. Her husband, Lawrence Beroth, 67, also received $123,094.02 in time-loss benefit payments from August 2009 to October 2011 for an industrial injury. Both claimed they could not work during this period.An investigation by the Washington State Department of Labor & Industries found that the couple had continued to work on their drywall company ever since the alleged work injuries occurred. The couple was arraigned in Peirce County Superior Court on November 15, 2012 and pled not guilty.
“We discovered that Mrs. Beroth continued to work at Beroth Drywall after her injury, actually preparing and submitting her husband’s injury paperwork to L&I…
We also took videos of Mr. Beroth working at his drywall business during the time he was receiving benefits and claiming he could not. The video shows him submitting bids, purchasing and hauling supplies, preparing for and working the jobs he received,” ” said Greg McPherson, an investigator in L&I’s Fraud Prevention and Compliance Program.
Not only could they be forced to pay restitution in full, but they are also faced with a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a $20,000 fine each.
Workplace injuries are unfortunate events for those who suffer legitimate injury and we believe they deserve proper care and assistance as they recover. However, with every workers’ compensation claim, we believe the goal should be for an employee to receive the most effective treatment so they can return to work in due time.
Unfortunately, situations and people like this cast a pall on legitimate claims and claimants.