SPOKANE, Wash.—A Spokane Valley man was accused of taking over $230,000 in state workers’ comp and federally disability benefits all while still running a bar.
The owner of Spokane Valley’s Cum Inn Bar and Grill, Dennis Bennett faced two charges of felony, first-degree theft in Spokane County Superior Court Monday.
According to the charges, Bennett wrongfully received more than $188,000 in wage-replacement benefits from L&I, and more than $47,000 in Social Security disability cash benefits from 2012 to 2016.
Court documents said Bennet was spending over 60 hours a week at the bar, however in a 2016 interview he said he did not consider what he was doing there “work.”
Documents said the investigation began when officials were at Bennett’s bar for something unrelated to the case and saw him working.
Charging papers said investigators saw Bennett working at his bar during undercover surveillance in early 2016. They saw him serving beer and cocktails, cooking, stocking cabinets, helping load a cooler in a vehicle and walking normally.
Reports said Bennett was originally injured in 2002 while working for a trucking firm.