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Spokane man guilty of work comp theft

A Spokane man was found guilty Thursday of stealing more than $30,000 in worker's compensation benefits.

A Spokane County Superior Court jury ruled Christopher Koker, 53, continued to collect time-lost benefits under a 1999 claim for a work-related injury while organizing 11 guns shows in 2006 and 2007.

An investigation started after the Department of Labor & Industries received an anonymous tip also found Koker helping at a Spokane gun store.

The jury convicted Koker on 26 counts of second-degree theft. The verdict could bring a jail sentence of up to 29 months. He is also responsible for $31,309 in restitution.

Koker is scheduled to be sentenced April 6. 

Carl Hammersburg, L&I manager of Fraud Prevention and Compliance, said the Koker verdict keeps the department's 100 percent conviction rate intact.

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Bert Caldwell
Bert Caldwell oversees production of the opinion pages, including writing editorials, and editing and selecting letters, columns and cartoons.