Local business owner accused of ‘trying to game’ workers’ comp system

State investigators say Daniel LeSieur, 54, of Washougal, 'double dipped' for more than two years, collecting state benefits and claiming he was unable to work, while earning $371K through his Elk Ridge Custom Homes company

State investigators have accused the owner of a Camas-based home construction and remodeling company of bilking the state’s workers’ compensation program of $127,000. 

The Washington State Department of Labor and Industries (L&I) began its investigation into Daniel Joseph LeSieur in the spring of 2020, after discovering that the Washougal man — who had filed workers’ compensation claims after injuring his left shoulder while shoveling asphalt in 2018, according to an L&I news release — “was associated as a principal or owner with several construction businesses in the past.” 

L&I investigators contend that LeSieur, 54, of Washougal, continued to take on work projects through his company, Elk Ridge Custom Homes, Inc., which lists a post office box at Postal Plus at 3242 N.E. Third Ave., in Camas, as its main corporate address.  

According to state investigators, LeSieur began claiming workers’ compensation benefits in January 2019. 

“But, six weeks after filing the L&I injury claim … LeSieur signed a contract for his company, Elk Ridge Custom Homes, Inc., to do consumer construction projects for a national home improvement and building materials chain,” L&I stated in the news release. “He wrote in the application that his company had a work crew and annual sales revenue of $1.5 million.” 

Despite having “several chances” to mention his company’s work projects in his workers’ compensation paperwork, L&I stated, LeSieur “never mentioned in L&I paperwork nor told his medical or vocational providers about his company or the contract.” 

L&I investigators claim they interviewed more than 15 Elk Ridge customers – most of whom were in the Portland-Vancouver metropolitan area – “who said LeSieur personally provided them bids or home remodeling services on behalf of the national chain in 2019 and 2020.” 

Investigators allege that, while LeSieur continued to claim workers’ compensation benefits through May 2021, telling L&I he was unable to work, he also collected $371,000 in payments through his company. 

Randy Littlefield, deputy assistant director for L&I’s Fraud Prevention and Labor Standards division, stated in the news release that L&I does “not tolerate double-dippers who try to game the system and cheat to get benefits.” 

Wage replacement checks are intended to provide some financial assistance to seriously injured workers who aren’t working due to their injury,” Littlefield stated. 

The Washington State Attorney General’s Office has charged LeSieur with one count of first-degree theft, based on L&I’s fraud investigation. 

LeSieur pleaded not guilty to the charge Nov. 22, in Clark County Superior Court. His trial is set for Jan. 30, 2023.