A Washington man visited hospital emergency rooms, claiming he needed pain killers to cope with work-related injuries.

Jose Ramon Amaya-Hernandez thought he found the perfect way to get prescription narcotics – go to a hospital claiming to be in pain due to a work-related injury. However, an investigation by the Department of Labor & Industries (L&I) uncovered the scam.

Amaya-Hernandez recently pleaded guilty to three counts of obtaining a controlled substance by fraud and was sentenced to 45 days in jail on each count to run concurrently. He also must pay fines as well as a yet to be determined amount of restitution to the hospitals he defrauded.

The investigation found that Amaya-Hernandez filed a total of 53 claims for injuries over a 3-year period. The claims were filed at a dozen different Seattle area hospitals and were subsequently denied by L&I because there were no records showing that the man ever worked for any of the employers he listed on the claims. However, the hospitals provided him with narcotic pain medications for the treatment of his claimed injuries.

Although Amaya-Hernandez was using several aliases, L&I investigators became suspicious and used a cross match through the Department of Licensing to determine his actual identity and build their case.

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EHS Today