Woman charged in drug-fraud case with L&I
Seattle Times staff reporter
Kimberly A. Curtis, 36, of Everett was charged yesterday with four counts of attempting to obtain a controlled substance by fraud. Snohomish County prosecutors say Labor & Industries has documented 32 false claims made by Curtis since July 1998.
But L&I spokesman Robert Nelson said the department is aware of more than 90 incidents of fraud going back to 1998. Curtis used 10 aliases and at least seven employer names in the intervening four years, Nelson said.
Curtis was arrested at the Pacific Campus of Providence General Hospital in Everett on June 18 when a nurse recognized her and realized she was using different names, Social Security numbers and employers to file claims, according to charging papers.
Prosecutors say she used the false information to obtain Vicodin; she was taking about eight pills per day, charging papers allege. Vicodin is the brand name for hydrocodone, a narcotic.
Prosecutors also filed charges against Curtis in connection with three separate incidents of alleged fraud in March and April.
Nelson said L&I was defrauded of about $3,700, with local doctors and medical centers absorbing the rest of the fraudulent costs.
Given scarce time and resources, the department chooses to focus on false workers'-compensation claims and health-care-provider reimbursement fraud, both of which can run into the hundreds of thousands of dollars, he said.
L&I sees a "fair number" of similar fraud cases, Nelson said.
J. Patrick Coolican can be reached at 206-464-3315 or firstname.lastname@example.org.