Last week on The Daily Weekly I noted the recent federal charges filed against the owners of Friday Harbor's Criminal Coffee. To at least one Daily Weekly commenter, the alleged criminal conduct came as no surprise.
In charging papers filed Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Seattle, federal prosecutors allege that the owners of Friday Harbor's Criminal Coffee - Ramona Hayes and Cory Eglash - stole and conspired to steal Social Security disability payments from the U.S. Government.
And, yes, the couple really did name their business Criminal Coffee.
Specifically, prosecutors contend that by misrepresenting Hayes' "employment status and physical and psychological capacity," the duo tricked the U.S. Social Security Administration into paying approximately $36,000 in Title II Disability benefits that she was never entitled to. The indictment alleges Eglash also applied for disability payments, but when it was discovered that both he and Hayes owned Criminal Coffee and were both actively working there, the duo's scheme was discovered.
Because of these alleged misdeeds, prosecutors have charged Hayes and Eglash with one count of Conspiracy to Defraud the U.S. Government, five counts of Felony Theft of Government Funds, and one count of providing false statements to the United States. Arraignment for Hayes and Eglash has been set for Valentine's Day.
While most consider Friday Harbor to be a tiny island retreat far removed from the crime and turmoil of city life, at least one Daily Weekly commenter wasn't surprised to hear about the alleged criminal conduct brewing at Criminal Coffee.
As commenter girlfirefigher writes:
Friday Harbor, San Juan Island is not the sweet little island it's made out to be. Tourists arrive here during the summer in groves. San Juan County has a dirty little secret that they don't want you to know about. We have a terrible HEROIN & METH problem here and the crime that goes along with that. Thieving, burglaries, and deaths has skyrocketed since the new Sheriff has taken over. The citizens of this island have begged, demanded and pleaded with the Sheriff to do something, but he turns a blind eye to our problem. Look for yourself (online) how many od deaths have accured on our island in the last year and what has not been done about it. If a reporter from Seattle Weekly would like a great story feel free to contact me.