Contractor accused of stealing $54K in workers comp scam
A roofing contractor is being charged with theft after an investigation into more than $54,000 of workers comp claims that the Washington State Department of Labor and Industries (L&I) is saying could be fraudulent.
The man, Patrick Dean Farthing, was seen by state investigators walking on roofs, removing roof tiles, and moving construction equipment and heavy materials despite having filed for workers comp for injuries starting in 2014.
“Workers’ compensation funds are meant to help injured workers by partially replacing lost wages and covering medical expenses,” the press release from L&I said.
Farthing claimed he first injured his shoulder in 2010 while repairing a roof, and his medical provider determined the injury was so serious he couldn’t work as a roofer. He was qualified for wage replacement payments and later pension due to this injury.
In 2018, L&I launched a two-year investigation into Farthing after receiving a tip he was working as a roofer. Through the investigation, it was determined that Farthing had been running his own business that performed roofing jobs throughout the South Sound while still collecting worker comp.
They obtained Farthing’s bank records and building supply invoices showing he was buying roofing materials starting in 2014, sometimes using the name Adam Lay.
During the investigation, L&I also allegedly caught Farthing and his work crews roofing houses in Spanaway and Olympia in 2018 which he was not registered to do. They issued him civil infractions for unregistered contracting, with penalties totaling $5,000 that remain unpaid.
“When we hear about fraud, we investigate,” said Celeste Monahan to KIRO 7, assistant director for L&I’s Fraud Prevention and Labor Standards division. “Cheaters seem to think that stealing workers’ comp benefits doesn’t hurt anyone … But it’s taking money from legitimately injured workers, and everyone whose hard-earned dollars support the workers’ compensation system.”
The Washington State Attorney General’s Office is prosecuting this case based on L&I’s investigation.
KIRO 7 contributed to this report.