Nailed: A fraud prevention and compliance blog

Written by Elizabeth Smith,
L&I's Assistant Director for
Fraud Prevention and
Labor Standards

Sep. 11, 2012

‘Disorganized’ billing translates into theft charge for interpreter

I may not have the neatest desk, but I’d never use that as an excuse for criminal activity.

But one L&I contract-service provider did, blaming her “disorganized” billing practices for more than $30,000 she fraudulently obtained from L&I for language interpretation services she allegedly provided to L&I clients.

Last week, Betsaida Sosa of Tacoma, was charged in Thurston County Superior Court with first-degree theft and making a false statement in an application for payment.

Ms. Sosa provided language interpretation services for injured workers needing medical care, billing L&I for both the services and her mileage to various appointments.

But when an L&I auditor took a look at those bills, she discovered that from August 2008 through July 2010, Ms. Sosa billed L&I for interpretation services far in excess of the services she actually provided, billing for mileage she did not drive by using a non-existent address, and billing for appointments that never took place.

As investigator Jerry Lord stated in the charging document, “Ms. Sosa’s use of the fictitious address, overlapping times and erroneous appointments resulted in her fraudulently receiving $30,352.59.”

In an interview, Ms. Sosa admitted to these errors, but argued that she is neither “well organized” nor a “good business person.”

Well, making up appointments and using a fake address seems to me to be beyond simple clumsiness. Her arraignment is scheduled for Sept. 19.

Finally, I want to recognize the great work done in pulling this case together by L&I’s auditors and investigators along with Assistant Attorney General Rick Weber, who is prosecuting this case.

Probably Cause Certification

Discuss this entry

Recent comments

In a tough economy, businesses are looking for ways to cut costs. Unfortunately, breaking laws is not a good way to go about it.

- Drew

Twitter talk

© Washington State Dept. of Labor and Industries. Use of this site is subject to the laws of the state of Washington.