A Tacoma-area man accused of working as a home caregiver and RV salesman while getting more than $81,000 in workers’ compensation payments was in court Friday.
Bobby Ray Johnson, 47, was arraigned on one count of first-degree theft in Pierce County Superior Court. A not guilty plea was entered on his behalf, and former Superior Court Judge Rosanne Buckner, filling in on a temporary basis, ordered him released on his own recognizance.
Johnson injured his lower back and chest when he fell in an icy parking lot while working at a recreational vehicle company. He started collecting workers’ compensation payments in March 2013, reporting to the state that he was not able to work.
He received payments for two years, until state investigators learned he had worked throughout that time, the state Department of Labor and Industries said.
The state alleges an undercover investigator saw Johnson showing trailers to customers at an RV show in the spring of 2015, and heard him saying that he had worked long hours during the weekend.
Court records did not list an attorney for him.