United States Attorney Erica H. MacDonald today announced the guilty plea of LISA ANN SCHAFER, 57, for stealing $108,490.47 in federal disability benefits. SCHAFER, who was charged via felony information on September 24, 2019, entered her guilty plea before Judge Eric C. Tostrud in U.S. District Court in St. Paul, Minnesota.
According to the defendant’s guilty plea and documents filed in court, from September 18, 2015, through May 3, 2019, SCHAFER, at the time an employee of the United States Postal Service, knowingly claimed Federal Employees’ Compensation Act (FECA) benefits by falsely asserting that a work-related injury prevented her from working in a full-time capacity.
SCHAFER reported to her doctor that her medical condition required her to rest most of the day and that she could tolerate only sedentary work. SCHAFER’s doctor accordingly limited her to no more than two hours of office work a day, enabling SCHAFER to collect FECA benefits due to her purported work-related injury.
However, during this time period, SCHAFER was observed participating in 30-40 dog-agility competitions where she is seen running, bending quickly at the waist, and using large arm movements to navigate dogs through a variety of exercises. In total, SCHAFER stole $108,490.47 in FECA benefits that she knew she was not entitled to receive.
Special Agent-in-Charge John D. Masters, Western Area Field Office, USPS Office of the Inspector General 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 Postal Service Office of Inspector General (USPS OIG) investigates those matters. Today’s plea sends a clear message that workers’ compensation fraud is a federal crime, which carries serious consequences. The USPS OIG, along the U.S. Attorney’s Office, remain committed to safeguarding the integrity of the workers’ compensation program and ensuring the accountability and integrity of U.S. Postal Service employees.”
This case is the result of an investigation conducted by the United States Postal Service, Office of Inspector General (USPS-OIG).