An Auburn man used two names to make workers’ compensation claims. Unfortunately for him, the same interpreter worked with him on both claims.
Pablo Francisco Castillo Murguia, 40, was sentenced Wednesday in Thurston County Superior Court to 60 days in jail for first-degree theft, according to the state Department of Labor & Industries.
He must pay back $114,752 in improper benefits he received over more than five years, from 2006 to 20012.
Castillo pleaded guilty in March 2016, but failed to appear for sentencing. He was arrested last month while police were serving him in another case.
“The brazen deception in this case is stunning,” Annette Taylor, deputy assistant director of L&I’s fraud prevention branch, said in a news release. “Workers’ comp scammers are taking resources that are meant to help legitimately injured workers heal and return to work.”
Castillo, calling himself Juan Pedro Castillo, hurt his right knee in 2000 when he fell from stilts while taping drywall at a Seattle construction site.
He reached a settlement with L&I in that case on Aug. 30, 2012. Eight days later, he claimed to have hurt his left leg while taping drywall on Bainbridge Island.
When Castillo filed that claim, he used his real name. But the Spanish-language interpreter recognized him from his previous claim and alerted L&I. The case was especially complex because of his use of multiple identities and required years of research before charges could be filed, L&I spokeswoman Debby Abe said.
Castillo had been claiming disability under one identity, but was working under another identity, L&I investigators determined.
He also fraudulently obtained two state identification cards and a driver’s license under fake names, according to the department.