Cheyenne – U.S. Attorney Christopher A. Crofts announced today that forty-five year old Colonial Heights, Virginia, resident Christopher Sean Koegl was sentenced on March 28, 2016, by United States District Court Judge Alan Johnson to serve thirty-six (36) months of probation and to pay approximately $31,090 in restitution to the United States government for making false and fraudulent statements to obtain federal workers’ compensation benefits. In addition to this sentence, Koegl will no longer receive federal workers’ compensation benefits as a result of this felony conviction.
Koegl is a former resident of Cheyenne, Wyoming, and a former U.S. Postal Service employee who injured his knee on the job and began receiving federal workers’ compensation benefits in 2010. These benefits were paid by the U.S. Department of Labor. As a federal workers’ compensation beneficiary, Koegl was required to immediately report if he returned to work or obtained new employment. Koegl was also required to immediately return any benefit payment which he received for a period in which he worked.
In September 2014, Wyoming Division of Criminal Investigation agents served a search warrant on Koegl’s Cheyenne residence and seized evidence of drug distribution. When interviewed by agents, Koegl admitted selling heroin in Cheyenne beginning around July 2013. Following the interview, Koegl was arrested and charged with possession of heroin with intent to deliver in violation of Wyoming state law. Koegl pleaded guilty and was sentenced by the state court to 5 years’ probation.
As charged in the indictment, on April 15, 2014, Koegl submitted a false form to the Department of Labor which reported that he was not self-employed or involved in any business activities between January 2013 and April 2014. This statement was false because Koegl was selling heroin in Cheyenne between July 2013 and April 2014.
“The Office of Inspector General is committed to working with our law enforcement partners to ensure that those who defraud Department of Labor programs, in this case the Federal Employees’ Compensation Act program, are held accountable,” stated Steven Grell, Acting Special Agent-in-Charge, U.S. Department of Labor, Office of Inspector General, Office of Labor Racketeering and Fraud Investigations.
The U.S. Postal Service Office of Inspector General’s Executive Special Agent in Charge Joanne Yarbrough said, “The American public trusts that U.S. Postal Service employees will obey the law. When an employee of the Postal Service violates that trust, the U.S. Postal Service Office of Inspector General (USPS OIG) thoroughly investigates those matters. It should be noted the overwhelming majority of Postal Service employees are honest, hardworking, and trustworthy individuals who would never consider engaging in any criminal behavior. The behavior described in this sentencing is not tolerated within the Postal Service. Workers’ compensation benefits are for those who are truly injured and this sentencing sends a clear message that workers’ compensation fraud is a federal crime, which carries serious consequences. The USPS OIG, along with our law enforcement partners and the U.S. Attorney’s Office, remain committed to safeguarding the integrity of the Worker’s Compensation program and ensuring the accountability and integrity of U.S. Postal Service employees.”