Washington Delivery Driver Accused of Stealing $325,000 In Permanent Disability Payments
Monday, December 23, 2019 | 771 | 0 | 27 min read
A Renton delivery driver who allegedly worked while receiving permanent disability claimed has been charged with stealing $325,000 in benefits in what the Washington state Department of Labor & Industries called one of the largest workers’ compensation fraud cases in recent history.
Robert J. Strasbaugh injured his knee while working as a delivery driver in 2003. The same year, a doctor disqualified him from returning to work and shortly after he began receiving L& I payments.
The department said it received an anonymous tip that Strasbaugh was working under his wife’s name, Jann Strasbaugh.
"The two-year investigation uncovered a paper trail of traffic tickets, Employment Security Department records, payroll checks, trucking records and other evidence showing that he worked as a delivery driver transporting apples around the state from May 2012 to January 2017," L&I said in a statement.
A doctor in 2016 declared Strasbaugh was totally and permanently disabled. When his wage-replacement benefits ended, Strasbaugh qualified to receive pension payments for life on the condition that he was not working.
After being briefed on the fraud investigation, L&I said the doctor said Strasbaugh misrepresented his physical abilities. Had the doctor known Strasbaugh was working, he said he would have allowed him to return to work as a delivery driver in May 2012.
Strasbaugh, pleaded not guilty to felony, first-degree theft in this case of fraud. His trial is set for March 9 at the Thurston County Superior Court. The Attorney General’s Office is prosecuting based off of an L&I investigation.