A construction contractor in Washington is facing felony theft charges in a $55,000 workers’ compensation fraud scheme.
Terry Dawson, owner of Best 1 Solutions, is accused of remodeling homes while claiming he was too injured to work.
Dawson pleaded not guilty to first-degree theft in early November 2022. His trial is scheduled for Jan. 13.
Worked while collecting benefits
The Washington State Department of Labor and Industries (L&I) Fraud Prevention and Labor Standards division began an investigation into Dawson and his business after learning that he was working for his company while collecting workers’ compensation benefits “off and on since 2003.”
Dawson suffered a back injury while working as a carpenter in 2003. Doctors determined that he couldn’t work because of his injury. He regularly submitted forms to L&I stating he wasn’t working while receiving benefits.
Investigators found Dawson was actually working at his construction business while collecting workers’ compensation benefits at the same time. Dawson created the company in 2003 with a co-owner.
Positive reviews of business lead to investigation
A series of positive online reviews for Dawson’s company that were posted between August 2017 and May 2020 led investigators to Dawson, who was mentioned by name by several reviewers. Investigators spoke with these reviewers and confirmed that Dawson was involved in several home improvement projects.
The company co-owner also told investigators that Dawson helped her by going on supply runs to home-improvement warehouses.