A Pierce County, Wash., couple will pay nearly $23,000 in restitution and fines after pleading guilty to charges that they continued to employ workers in their Spanaway towing business after the state had prohibited them from doing so.
In 2011, the Department of Labor & Industries revoked the certificate of industrial insurance for A1 Towing Service after owners Sandra and Billie Rouse failed to pay for workers’ compensation insurance for their employees.
According to court documents, the Rouses allegedly told a revenue agent they were continuing to operate the business without employees. However, an L&I investigator determined that several employees were continuing to work for the business. While observing the business over a period of time, the investigator saw employees using company trucks to pick up and deliver various vehicles, including vehicles at the scene of accidents.
The Rouses both appeared in Pierce County Superior Court last week and entered guilty pleas to a Class C felony for engaging in business after the certificate of coverage had been revoked.
In addition to the restitution and fines, Billie Rouse was sentenced to a 30-day jail term which was converted to 240 hours of community service.
L&I’s Fraud Prevention and Compliance Program assessed $24.6 million in unpaid employer premiums plus penalties in fiscal year 2012. The program brings in nearly $9.30 for every dollar spent to fight fraud.
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