Halfway House Operator in Washington State Charged with $90,000 in Fraud

The operator of a Chehalis-based halfway house is accused of receiving $90,000 in workers’ compensation benefits

Judy Darlene Chafin, the operator of a handful of halfway houses in Lewis County, has been charged with one count of first-degree theft and 30 counts of forgery after allegedly receiving upwards of $90,000 in worker’s compensation benefits, according to an article from the Washington State Department of Labor and Industries.

The 61-year-old woman was in court for a drug distribution case when she received notice of the charges. She can remain free for now, as the charges are still pending.

According to the article, the woman submitted “dozens” of worker’s compensation claims stating she could not work due to a 2006 job injury at the Tiffin House, where she was a caregiver. She has been collecting benefits since 2006 even though she had been operating homes, providing care and receiving payment in the Chehalis area the whole time.  

The charges are a result of an investigation done by the Washington Dept. of L&I. According to the article, Lewis County and the city of Chehalis filed zoning and health-code complaints last year, and it is thought that none of the homes are still operating.

Chafin is schedule to enter a plea to theft and forgery on October 3, and the first-degree theft charge carries a maximum sentence of ten years in prison. The forgery charges carry a maximum of five years in prison each. The charge also includes abuse of a position of trust, a major economic offense, and a crime of sophistication, all of which are considered “aggravating circumstances.”

For more information, visit: http://lni.wa.gov/News/2013/pr130927a.asp

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