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Postal worker exposed for fraudulent workers' compensation claims

When a state or federal employee makes fraudulent workers' compensation claims, the financial impact affects their employer and taxpayers. An employer that suspects dishonesty may start an investigation in an attempt to analyze the legitimacy of an injury that may have been suffered. A California man that previously worked as a United States Postal Service employee was recently sentenced for fraudulent workers' compensation claims.

The elderly man was sentenced to one year in prison for his fraudulent claims, and the courts also ordered him to provide restitution totaling $160,000. Records show that the man requested workers' compensation in 1987 after claiming to have suffered an injury in an accident at work. As a result of the accident, he was purportedly unable to return to full-time work and continued to collect his benefits for 27 years.

The man regularly provided updated certification from physicians verifying his inability to return to work due to physical impairment and pain. However, during this time he apparently maintained an annual ski pass which he used for more than a month every year for recreational skiing. Investigators claim they saw the man participate in additional physical activities they would consider arduous.

The Department of Labor is responsible for the Postal Service's program and made the benefits available to the man and participated in the investigation with the Office of the Inspector General. A supervisor or California business owner that believes they have been taken advantage of through fraudulent workers' compensation claims may question their legal options. Some people may seek professional help as they attempt to uncover the truth and help recover any damages sustained due to a hike in insurance rates and/or other financial losses.

Source: sacbee.com, "South Lake Tahoe man sentenced to prison for workers' comp fraud", Cathy Locke, Nov. 4, 2014

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