NEW BRITAIN, Conn.(WTNH)– Seven New Britain postal workers accused of collecting hundreds of thousands of dollars in unemployment benefits are facing larceny and fraud charges.
The state of Connecticut is cracking down on unemployment fraud in general. They say they have made 60-70 arrest since they started their sting operation but now that the are looking at postal workers. They say some may be working together to milk the system.
The mug shots of these seven alleged scammers look like a dysfunctional Brady Bunch minus two, but the way they became a bunch was due to a high tech investigation
“Sometimes just computer cross matches are done one database, that’s employers reporting that they paid wages to certain people. We had people who were collecting wages and then they just cross match and those names come up for us to investigate,” said Marcia Pillsbury, Deputy Assistant State’s Attorney.
Preet Bharara, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, Rafael A. Medina, the Special Agent-in-Charge of United States Postal Service, Office of Inspector General (“USPS-OIG”), and Cheryl Garcia, Acting Special Agent-in-Charge of the United States Department of Labor, Office of Inspector General (“DOL-OIG”), Office of Labor Racketeering and Fraud Investigations, today announced charges against 11 defendants for defrauding the Department of Labor’s federal workers’ compensation benefits program by claiming to be injured or disabled so that they could claim benefits to which they were not entitled. In addition, certain of the defendants failed to report income that they earned from other businesses they were running while allegedly too disabled to return to their federal employment. The 11 defendants include 10 United States Postal Service employees and one employee of the U.S. Navy, all but one of whom were arrested and presented today in Manhattan federal court before Magistrate Judge James C. Francis IV. One defendant was arrested on April 17, 2014, as part of the same operation. Continue reading Ten USPS employees charged with workers comp fraud
DETROIT – A former U.S. Postal Worker in Detroit is expected to face charges of double-dipping, after federal agents found her illegally working at a new job.
Caprice Hughes worked for the postal service for six years. During that time she filed a number of worker’s compensation claims and was granted a leave from her job last year, when a right arm injury left her unable to lift anything heavier than five pounds.
She was paid nearly $30,000 a year in disability checks, with a requirement not to work at other jobs, as well as filing and signing legal paperwork in the process.
But federal agents found her working at a hair and nail salon in Oak Park.
LOS ANGELES, Calif. – Wayne Lu, 53 of Torrance is in custody on charges of alleged workers’ compensation fraud associated with an injury received during his employment with the U.S. Postal Service. Detectives from the California Department of Insurance, with the assistance of U.S. Postal Inspectors, arrested Lu on Tuesday, April 8 in Manhattan Beach.
“Workers’ compensation fraud is not a victimless crime,” said Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones. “Fraudulent claims inflate premiums for all consumers and cast unnecessary doubt on workers that are truly injured and deserve timely treatment and rehabilitation.”
California Department of Insurance Detectives and United States Postal Service Office of Inspector General Special Agents conducted a joint investigation and learned that Lu was working as a massage therapist despite his claims of shoulder injury. Surveillance and undercover operations by Fraud Division Detectives proved that Lu was a working massage therapist and failed to report said employment or improvement of condition to the United States Department of Labor, the entity that handles workers’ compensation for the U.S. Postal Service.
Detectives from CDI’s Fraud Division are currently part of a task force operated by the Office of Inspector General – Postal Inspection Unit, focused on investigating and arresting postal employees who are suspected of committing insurance fraud in the State of California. Wayne Lu is charged with one felony count of insurance fraud and the case will be prosecuted by the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office.
Many postal employees are wondering how the government shutdown is affecting Office of Workers’ Compensation Programs (OWCP) claims. The adjudication of OWCP claims and the payment of workers’ compensation benefits are considered essential work, so the claims examiners who are assigned these duties in the Department of Labor’s field offices are continuing to work. Employees who are injured at work during the shutdown or who have existing claims should expect routine service on these matters, said Human Relations Director Sue Carney. Continue reading How Does The GOP’s Government Shutdown Affect OWCP Claims?