The Montana Department of Justice has been able to get a Montana employee to admit he is guilty of workers compensation fraud.

"David Howke, 45, of Bigfork pleaded guilty in Montana District Court Wednesday to a criminal theft charge related to fraudulently collecting over $27,000 in workers’ compensation benefits from the Montana State Fund between April 2013 and March 2015," said Montana Department of Justice Spokesman Eric Sell. "We are really happy, because really its businesses that bear the cost when you have individuals fraudulently collecting Workers Compensation benefits, because its Montana Businesses who are paying the premiums on workers compensation benefits."

Charges were brought after a concerned citizen noticed something was off.

"There was an anonymous tip to the Montana State Fund in 2014 that Howke was working on the side and playing a lot of golf, so the Montana State Fund looked into that and they found sufficient evidence to refer that to the Montana Department of Justice," Sell said.

Worker’s compensation fraud isn’t all that uncommon in Montana. Sell says the attorney tasked with these types of cases and handles around 20 or more a year.

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