Enjoy bowling? How about rock climbing and motorcycle riding? A letter carrier receiving Office of Workers’ Compensation Program (OWCP) payments for reported wrist, elbow, and shoulder injuries enjoys doing all three.
OIG special agents received a tip that the letter carrier was exceeding stated physical limitations while receiving OWCP payments. Special agents observed the carrier riding a motorcycle without a wrist brace and exhibiting no pain. Agents also learned that the letter carrier earned income by evaluating a sports facility, but asked to be paid “under the table,” so it would not impact receiving disability income. Special agents captured the carrier on video bowling several games and climbing a rock wall. The carrier was not wearing a wrist brace or exhibiting pain during these activities.
The termination of the letter carrier’s OWCP payments resulted in a cost avoidance to the U.S. Postal Service of $1,004,912. In October 2012, the carrier pleaded guilty in a California state court to a charge regarding a fraudulent claim in order to receive a health care benefit. As part of the plea agreement, the letter carrier agreed to restitution of $63,000.
Sentencing is scheduled for late 2013.
If you suspect workers’ compensation fraud by a postal employee, contact the OIG Hotline at 1-888-877-7644 or online at www.uspsoig.gov.