Couple gets jail time for workers' comp scam

TUMWATER, Wash. (AP) — Officials say a married couple who owned and operated a now defunct foreign-language interpreter service just north of Seattle has been sentenced to jail for a fraudulent billing scheme.

The Washington state Department of Labor and Industries said in a news release that 40-year-old Kitzia Huerta-Ward and 44-year-old Philip Ward were each sentenced on one felony count of theft involving the submission of thousands of false bills to the agency.

They were each sentenced to 90 days in jail and ordered to repay Labor and Industries over $16,000 for inflating bills they sent to the state for reimbursement.

The agency had been paying the couple's firm, Hispanic Voices, to provide Spanish-language interpretation for injured workers at medical and vocational appointments related to workers' compensation claims.