August 28, 2013
A New York City mail carrier learned that playing golf and bowling while claiming to be totally disabled and receiving Office of Workers’ Compensation payments was a bad idea. In 2007, the carrier filed a Department of Labor (DOL) Form CA-1, Federal Employees’ Notice of Traumatic Injury and Claim for Continuation of Pay/Compensation. The carrier claimed he injured his back while working and could no longer perform his duties. A review of his DOL case file indicated he was being treated by doctors who stated he could not return to work due to poor physical condition.
After an anonymous tip was sent to the U.S. Postal Service Office of Inspector General (OIG), special agents and DOL investigators conducted surveillance of the carrier. During surveillance they saw the carrier golfing and participating in a bowling league. In August 2011, OIG special agents interviewed the carrier, who admitted he should have reported his activities to the DOL so he could return to work in a limited duty position. Special agents arrested the carrier after the interview.
Postal Service management removed the carrier from his position in October of that year, and in December 2012, the carrier pleaded guilty in federal court to one count of False Statement or Fraud to Obtain Federal Employees’ Compensation. Because of the carrier’s plea, his disability benefits were terminated by the DOL and the Postal Service realized a cost avoidance of $860,000.
Earlier this year, the carrier was sentenced to two years of probation, 750 hours of community service, and ordered to pay restitution in the amount of approximately $94,000 to the Postal Service.