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Two former U.S. Postal Service employees received prison sentences for fraudulently obtaining federal workers compensation benefits, the U.S. Department of Justice said in a statement Tuesday.
Margaret M. Davis of Massillon, Ohio, completed forms to continue receiving disability benefits under the Federal Employees’ Compensation Act while she was incarcerated in an Ohio prison, according to the statement. She indicated on the forms that she had not been incarcerated within the prior 15 months, according to the Justice Department.
Ms. Davis pleaded guilty to making false statements and committing fraud to obtain federal worker comp benefits. She was sentenced to 18 months in prison and ordered to pay $49,249 in restitution.
Nicole M. Gates of Wickliffe, Ohio, falsely represented her physical limitations to receive workers comp benefits. She was convicted by a jury of two counts of wire fraud and one count of making false statements. Ms. Gates was sentenced to six months in prison and ordered to pay $5,884 in restitution.
The U.S. Postal Service paid $2.7 billion in workers comp costs last year, said Monica Weyler, Inspector General special agent in charge for the U.S. Postal Service.
“Investigations by … special agents such as these are part of our mission of preventing and detecting criminal activity and serious misconduct within the Postal Service,” Ms. Weyler said. “Last year, with the support of the U.S. Attorney’s Office, (U.S. Postal Service) investigations nationwide saved the Postal Service over $320 million in future federal workers compensation costs.”
The U.S. Postal Service did not violate the federal Rehabilitation Act when it prevented an injured employee from returning to work until she could pass a series of physical examinations, a federal court has ruled.