California Postal Window Clerk Delivered Some Bad News

United States Attorney Benjamin Wagner announced that Chief United States District Judge Anthony Ishii sentenced 44 year-old Karina S. Beard of Turlock, California to one year in prison, to be followed by three years of supervised release, for four counts of mail fraud and two counts of federal workers compensation fraud. Beard was also ordered to pay $81,694 in restitution.

According to court documents, Beard worked as a distribution and window clerk for the Postal Service in Groveland. For two plus years, Beard received federal workers comp benefits for an on-the-job injury. Because of her claimed injuries, restrictions were placed on Beard's physical activities: no reaching, no pushing, no pulling, no driving for more than 20 minutes, etc.
Yet, Beard performed various physical tasks, such as horseback riding, caring for horses, yard work, and driving all using the purportedly injured part of her body. Because of claims Beard made in routine Department of Labor questionnaires, she continued to receive workers comp benefits, all while not entitled to such benefits. (WCxKit)
At least once a year the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Workers Compensation Programs is required to ask every total disability benefit claimant whether the claimant has had any employment, earnings, or changes in their medical condition over the previous 15 months. In compliance with regulations, OWCP sends out a questionnaire to each claimant. Claimants reporting changes in employment, earnings, or their medical conditions on the questionnaire may experience a reduction or termination of benefits.


Author Robert Elliott, executive vice president, Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. has worked successfully for 20 years with many industries to reduce Workers Compensation costs, including airlines, healthcare, printing/publishing, pharmaceuticals, retail, hospitality and manufacturing. He is an editor and contributor to Workers Compensation Management Program: Reduce Costs 20% to 50%. Contact:
Do not use this information without independent verification. All state laws vary. You should consult with your insurance broker or agent about workers comp issues.
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