U.S. Attorney Duane A. Evans announces the guilty plea today by LEXY LOPEZ-BATEMAN, age 40, of Slidell, before U.S. District Judge Lance M. Africk.
According to court documents, LOPEZ-BATEMAN was an employee of the United States Postal Service when she suffered an on-the-job ankle injury in 2015. She was therefore entitled to workers compensation benefits, including costs of travel to and from medical appointments. However, beginning in 2015, she submitted fraudulent requests for reimbursement to the U.S. Department of Labor. Moreover, even though LOPEZ-BATEMAN completed her treatment in January 2016, she continued to submit fraudulent reimbursement requests through June 2017. LOPEZ-BATEMAN filed over 300 fraudulent claims in which she either exaggerated her mileage or where no medical appointment occurred. In total, LOPEZ-BATEMAN defrauded the U.S. government of $16,851.10.
LOPEZ-BATEMAN pleaded guilty to a bill of information charging her with making false statements in connection with receiving federal workers compensation benefits. She faces a minimum of 5 years in prison, a maximum $250,000.00 fine, and up to three years of supervised release. Sentencing is scheduled for June 28, 2018 at 1:30 p.m. before U.S. District Judge Lance M. Africk.
U.S. Attorney Evans praised the investigative efforts of the U.S. Postal Services Office of Inspector General. The prosecution is being handled by Assistant United States Attorney Matthew Payne.