Spokane, Wash., resident Christopher Koker, 53, was found guilty in Spokane County Superior Court of stealing more than $30,000 in workers’ compensation benefits, the state Office of the Insurance Commissioner reported.
An anonymous tip though the OIC’s Web site accused Koker of running a gun-sales business while collecting time-loss benefits for a 1999 workplace injury.
The Department of Labor & Industries investigation revealed Koker had organized and managed 11 gun shows between May 6, 2006, and Nov. 10, 2007. Investigators also discovered that, during this time, Koker was assisting in operations at a Spokane gun store.
Surveillance footage at the gun shows revealed Koker taking payments, talking with vendors, sitting in booths, and working on guns, the OIC said. He was also observed running and bending, showing no signs of having a back injury.
Throughout the history of the claim, Koker maintained he was unable to work due to his industrial injury. The defense argued that Koker was not really working — that his activity was just a hobby which did not involve any heavy lifting.
Yet a jury convicted him on all 26 counts of theft. His sentencing is scheduled for April 6.
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