Thurston County Courthouse

Thurston County Courthouse

A 38-year-old Yelm man is facing a felony theft charge after allegedly collecting $1,018 in medical benefits for an injury to his hand he claimed occurred on the job but actually happened during a bar fight, according to a report by The Olympian.

Chuck Wayne Riccio was scheduled to make his first court appearance on the charge Friday.

Riccio reportedly filed a claim with the state Department of Labor and Industries in October 2018 saying he broke his hand while working at a bathroom manufacturer, the newspaper reported.

According to charging documents cited by The Olympian, an acquaintance of Riccio told the Department of Labor and Industries the injury was actually sustained during a fight at the White Horse Tavern in Yelm in August 2018, with the person providing a text message from Riccio saying “i kinda said it happened at work.” reported he also sent a text message to a friend with a photo of his bandaged hand and the words “now L&I will cover it.”

According to The Olympian, employees at the bathware manufacturer disputed Riccio’s story and his manager said he reported his injury five days after starting at the company, but listed a different date on his L&I report.

The felony theft charge carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison and/or a $10,000 fine.

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