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Tacoma couple pleads guilty to skimming state benefits

Post by Sean Robinson / The News Tribune on Feb. 8, 2013 at 4:40 pm |
February 8, 2013 4:40 pm

Following a pair of guilty pleas, a Tacoma couple charged last November with first-degree theft faces sentencing later this month on lesser charges.

Jaime Beroth, 63, and her husband, Lawrence Beroth, 67, falsely claimed more than $223,000 in worker compensation benefits while continuing to run their drywall business in University Place, according to charging papers.

The defendants entered guilty pleas last month to lesser charges of second-degree theft – one count apiece. The offense carries a maximum sentence of 60 days in jail and a $5,000 fine. Both Beroths were released on their own recognizance pending a Feb. 25 sentencing hearing.

Charging documents state that Jaime Beroth claimed a shoulder injury and received more than $100,000 in benefits. Lawrence Beroth received $123,094 in benefits tied to a claimed industrial injury. Both continued to work, charging papers state.

Jaime Beroth told an investigator the couple’s business tailed off as the economy tanked. Lawrence Beroth told an investigator he probably shouldn’t have taken the money.

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