Washington BMX Bike Racer Charged in Workers’ Comp Scam

October 1, 2014

A Kent man who raced BMX-style bicycles while claiming he was too disabled to work stands accused of defrauding the state.

The Washington Attorney General’s Office has charged Tony T. Perry Sr. with first-degree theft. Perry, 51, is scheduled to appear on the felony charge in Thurston County Superior Court on Tuesday, Sept. 30.

He’s accused of misrepresenting his physical abilities to the Department of Labor & Industries (L&I) to receive more than $14,000 in wage-replacement payments from January 2012 to August 2013, according to charging papers.

Racing throughout the Pacific Northwest

Perry started racing BMX bicycles as an amateur in January 2012, eventually competing throughout the Pacific Northwest and Nevada, according to the results of an L&I investigation. BMX racing is an off-road, physically demanding bicycle competition typically held on dirt race courses with hills requiring riders to jump in the air.

The case investigator witnessed Perry compete in two races, and found numerous Facebook posts about Perry’s racing activities, charging papers said. In a post about a May 2012 race, Perry described how he crashed and injured his ribs ­− but told L&I he hurt himself at home that day due to a fall caused by his injured knee.

Claims BMX racing is like riding on the street

In an interview with L&I in September 2013, Perry admitted racing, but said it was no different than riding a bike on a neighborhood street, charging papers said.

After receiving a summary of L&I’s investigative findings in March 2014, Perry’s physician told an L&I investigator he would have ended Perry’s wage-replacement payments as of January 2012 had he known about his physical abilities.

Perry began receiving workers’ compensation benefits in October 2001, when he strained himself lifting a heavy box, causing knee and other injuries, while working in grounds maintenance.

Source: Washington Department of Labor & Industries (L&I)

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