Former Letter Carrier Admits to Receiving Bogus Travel Expenses for Medical Care

Greenbelt, Maryland – LaRosa Bolton, age 54, of Laurel, Maryland pleaded guilty today to theft of government property in connection with a scheme to fraudulently receive reimbursement for travel expenses for medical care related to injuries sustained on the job.

US-Department-Of-Justi_fmtThe guilty plea was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein; Special Agent in Charge Paul L. Bowman of the U.S. Postal Service, Office of Inspector General; and Special Agent in Charge Steven Anderson, of the Washington Regional Office, U.S. Department of Labor – Office of Inspector General, Office of Labor Racketeering and Fraud Investigations.

According to her plea agreement, Bolton was a letter carrier for the U.S. Postal Service at the Laurel, Maryland post office.  Between 1993 and 1998, Bolton sustained three separate injuries at work, all of which qualified her for worker’s compensation.  She began receiving compensation benefits in 2001.  Bolton was also eligible to receive reimbursement for travel expenses to and from medical appointments related to her injuries.

From January 2008 to July 2014, Bolton submitted vouchers to the Office of Worker’s Compensation Programs (OWCP) for the reimbursement of travel expenses for approximately 1,170 trips for medical care. Approximately 89 of those trips were actually for medical care received.  However, Bolton admitted that she did not receive medical care for the remaining 1,081 trips.

To obtain reimbursement from OWCP, Bolton periodically prepared and mailed numerous forms falsely certifying that she had driven round trip from her home to medical facilities for treatment.  As a result, Bolton was paid between $70,000 and $120,000 for the reimbursement of travel expenses to which she was not entitled.

Bolton faces a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison.  U.S. District Judge Peter J. Messitte has scheduled sentencing for January 20, 2016 at 9:30 a.m.

United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein commended the U.S. Postal Service -OIG and U.S. Department of Labor – OIG, Office of Labor Racketeering and Fraud Investigations for their work in the investigation.  Mr. Rosenstein thanked Assistant U.S. Attorney Hollis Raphael Weisman, who is prosecuting the case.

  • Poor Richard

    Interesting.

    6-1/2 years = 2,373 days / 1170 “medical trips” = a trip every 2.03 days, or a trip every other day more or less.

    It’s a good thing someone in OWCP wasn’t asleep at their desk, and noticed all of this going on after ONLY 6-1/2 YEARS, or Ms Bolton could have really gotten away robbery.

    If I were her lawyer, I’d blame OWCP for their negligence in allowing this to go as long as it did unchecked. Could be, she was VERY good friends with the person who received her claim vouchers?

    Medical trips every other day? There’s a lot of people who don’t even go to work as often as that.

  • Poor Richard

    I forgot to deduct days for weekends. Medical trips would have been on weekdays. There would be almost 1700 business days in 6.5 years divided by 1170 trips = a frequency of a medical trip every 1.45 days.

    Or, another way to look at it, if OWCP paid the maximum of $120,000 for 1170 trips, that’s $102.56 per trip she claimed.

    The travel expenses were the icing on top of the OWCP cake she was already getting for workman’s comp. It’s shocking that OWCP would blindly pay this kind of money out so often.