Lost Translation

The Washington Department of Labor & Industries reported March 22 that a Tacoma woman received a 90-day jail term and must pay $34,209 in restitution after pleading guilty to first-degree theft charges for fraudulently billing the department for language interpretive services she never provided.

Betsaida "Betsy" Sosa will be allowed to convert 60 days of the sentence to home detention or work release if she is eligible for one of the programs. If not, she will serve the entire 90 days. She contracted with the department to provide interpretation services for injured workers needing medical care, which included billing the department for her services and her mileage to appointments.

"An L&I auditor discovered that Sosa billed for amounts far in excess of the services and travel that actually occurred. Further investigation determined that she used false addresses and billed for appointments that never took place," according to the the department's news release, which also said L&I’s Fraud Prevention and Compliance Program assessed $24.6 million in unpaid employer premiums and penalties during fiscal year 2012. For more information, visit www.Lni.wa.gov/Main/Fraud.

Posted by Jerry Laws on Mar 25, 2013