Former Postal Supervisor Sentenced To 16 Months In Prison For Lying On A Federal Worker’s Compensation Document

uspsoigSTATESVILLE, N.C. – On Tuesday, September 3, 2013, U.S. District Judge Richard Voorhees sentenced a former supervisor with the U.S. Postal Service to serve 16 months in prison for submitting false information on a 2008 workman’s compensation benefits application, announced Anne M. Tompkins, U.S. Attorney for the Western District of North Carolina.

U.S. Attorney Tompkins is joined in making today’s announcement by Paul Bowman, Area Special Agent in Charge of the United States Postal Service, Office of Inspector General (USPS –OIG).

Joseph Catone, Jr., 58, of Boone, was convicted in March 2012 by a federal jury for lying on a federal document Catone submitted in 2008 which contained false information. Catone submitted the false information on an application in order to receive workman’s compensation benefits. According to evidence presented at trial and yesterday’s sentencing hearing, on or about July 21, 2006, Catone, while employed as a USPS supervisor at a post office in Boone, claimed that he had developed a stress-related condition as a result of excessive driving in the performance of his duties. The Department of Labor, Office of Workers’ Compensation Program (DOL OWCP) accepted Catone’s claim for temporary aggravation of sleep apnea, and Catone became eligible to receive compensation benefits because of the claimed disability.

According to court records, as a condition of his receipt of compensation benefits, Catone was required to periodically report, among other things, any employment, self-employment and volunteer work he had undertaken or income he had earned in the preceding fifteen months on the DOL OWCP Form EN1032 (EN1032). At trial, the government submitted evidence showing that in 2008 Catone completed, signed, and submitted an EN1032 that contained materially false responses. Specifically, the defendant answered in the negative questions about being employed elsewhere or having received any type of money or other compensation for volunteer work done while he was receiving compensation benefits. The government’s evidence included checks made payable to Catone that showed he had worked for and received a salary as a custodian for Angelo Nigro, doing business as Angelo’s Maintenance, from in or around August 2006 to August 2008. Witnesses testified that they regularly saw Catone vacuum, pick up trash, and perform other cleaning services at the Hayes Performing Arts Center in Blowing Rock, N.C. The government’s evidence also showed that the defendant received $132,214.31 (gross amount) in worker’s compensation from April 2007 to September 2009.

In handing down Catone’s sentence, Judge Voorhees stated that the defendant had “reaped financial benefits” from his dishonesty and that he imposed 16 months imprisonment because of “the need to deter others from similar conduct.” In addition to the prison term, Judge Voorhees also ordered Catone to serve three years under court supervision after he is released from prison, and to pay $106,411.83 as restitution.

The defendant was ordered to self-report to the Federal Bureau of Prisons upon designation of a federal facility. Federal sentences are served without the possibility of parole.

The investigation of the case was handled by USPS-OIG. The prosecution for the government was handled by Assistant United States Attorney Kenneth M. Smith of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Charlotte.

  • Joanie Soule Brown

    Good!!!! Its people who lie about OWCP that make it so hard for legitimate cases to be accepted. Sleep Apenea??? How the heck is that work related? makes me sick!

    • Apollo

      That’s what I’d like to know! But anyway, this isn’t going to deter anyone. Everyone except this guy, knows to work under the table if they are doing things under-handed. He was just out of his league.

      • Postal Pete

        The Postal Inspectors were checking up on him and caught him red handed doing custodial work and recorded him.

    • joe stutzman

      the OWCP people are always looking at/for you. that’s why I took regularretirement rather than trying for disability.

  • Postal Joe

    If stupidity was a declared disability he’d have a good case

  • linnie

    Because he was mgmt, they didn’t even question the questionable case of sleep apnea.

  • David Miranda

    another idiot out of the work force………remember folks don’t lie on your EN1032 if you’re on compensation it’s a lose lose…………….. but more importantly don’t cheat…………or make false claims

  • snowballl

    he got what he deserves

  • Robin

    What this guy did was wrong and we should all remember there is no gray area. Its either wrong or right. But having worked for the USPS for 24 years, there’s no way I believe a regular employee who actually works the mail could so easily get workman’s comp b/c of stress due to driving his vehicle to and from work and around the small city of Boone NC. And if I figured it right, he was drawing $4550 a month!?!?!?! What worker other than mgmt. could draw that kind of money. But to think that Congressmen sexting, found guilty of embezzlement/fraud, sexually molesting helpers, etc. are allowed to draw their salaries as retirement for the rest of their lives + keep their TSP plans is freaking ridiculous. I guess this guy thought he was actually working for the federal govt. and could do whatever he wanted, just like the big cheats and liars.

  • sickofit

    wait a minute…………….SUPERVISORS DON;T LIE