EVERETT — A Lake Stevens man was sentenced to 60 days in jail Monday after pleading guilty to running an insurance agency while at the same time collecting more than $230,000 in state benefits based on claims he was too disabled to work.
The sentence for James C. Kooy, 53, was in keeping with state guidelines for first-degree theft. Kooy pleaded guilty to that charge in late September, an act that showed he “is taking full responsibility for his poor judgment and criminal behavior,” defense attorney Jim Johanson said in documents filed last week in Snohomish County Superior Court.
An investigation by the state Department of Labor & Industries found Kooy starting in 2008 filed paperwork indicating physical problems that made it impossible for him to hold down a full-time job. L&I began investigating in 2015, and determined Kooy was operating By The Lake Insurance, Inc The company opened in 2010 and reported doing more than $800,000 in business in its first five years, the state found.
Kooy must make restitution, with the amount to be determined in later hearings.
“This case was truly outrageous. He worked for at least five years in his own business without telling us or his doctors,” Elizabeth Smith, assistant director of L&I’s Fraud Prevention & Labor Standards, said in a press release.