Man charged with faking deployment, collecting pay
A King County jailer has been charged with using forged military documents to give himself more than a year off with pay.
Seattle Times staff reporter
A man suspected of faking military deployment for more than a year while bilking his employer, King County, out of at least $110,204 was charged with theft and forgery this week by the King County Prosecuting Attorney's Office.
Jose Abarca, a 44-year-old King County jailer who worked in Kent, allegedly first submitted forged military orders to his employer in February 2010.
The orders said he would be deployed starting that same month and until March 2011 in Hohenfels, Germany, according to a Seattle Police Department report included in the charging documents. The department investigated the case.
After submitting the fake orders for a yearlong deployment, charging documents say, Abarca submitted other forged orders for eight other occasions of weekend duty and drill training through January of this year.
Most of those additional orders were for two to three days off, but one was for 15 days off in the middle of July 2011, charging papers say.
At no point from February 2010 to January 2012 did he report for military duty, charging papers say.
The forged orders were created from real military documents for training dates that Abarca, a Washington National Guard member, was scheduled to attend in early 2010, according to a National Guard official cited in court documents.
His actual orders were for less than a month of training between February and March 2010.
Abarca didn't attend those dates either.
During those dates, Abarca was going through a medical evaluation for discharge from the National Guard and was barred from attending the training drills, according to the National Guard official.
Between Feb. 11, 2010 and Jan. 21, 2012, Abarca collected a salary of $110,204.38 from the King County Department of Adult and Juvenile Detention. He also accrued 282.32 vacation hours valued at $9,170.24 and sick leave valued at $6,141.23, charging papers say.
The prosecutor's office said Abarca had no previous criminal record before the charges brought forth this week but that "his crimes should be considered as a severe abuse of public trust."
Alexa Vaughn: 206-464-2515 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
On Twitter @AlexaVaughn.