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Painting company that defrauded workers’ comp system must pay $212,000

In return for the guilty pleas and financial settlement, the Attorney General's Office agreed to drop six felony counts. The class C felonies were for intentional false reporting during six quarters in 2005-2006. Each count was punishable by up to five years in prison.

The case against the Dale Koohns is part of L&I's efforts to find unregistered contractors and registered construction companies that purposefully underpay their insurance premiums. The state's underground economy task force estimates that in 2006 participants in the underground construction economy cost Washington state $113 million in unpaid taxes and premiums.

Susan DanPullo of the Attorney General's Office represented L&I in the Koohns settlement. DanPullo was hired in 2006 through new funding from L&I to increase criminal fraud prosecutions.

To verify that building trades contractors are registered and in good standing with L&I, go to www.PremiumStatus.Lni.wa.gov. If you suspect fraud, fill out an online form at www.Fraud.Lni.wa.gov or call the fraud hotline at 1-888-811-5974.

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