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: Info@ReduceYourWorkersComp.com.
 
 
 
NEW 2012 WORKERS COMP MANAGEMENT GUIDEBOOK:  www.WCManual.com
 
WORK COMP CALCULATOR:  www.LowerWC.com/calculator.php
 
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.
 
©2012 Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. All rights reserved under International Copyright Law. If you would like permission to reprint this material, contact us at: Info@ReduceYourWorkersComp.com.

Florida Mail Carrier Travels to New Zealand and China While on Disability

According to sentencing papers a former mail carrier was vacationing on the government's dime. The Daytona Beach News-Journal reports that between 2005 and 2009, the woman collected close to $200,000 in disability pay while doing a number of different sporting activities. Keep in mind, this is OUR money, us taxpayers…

She pleaded guilty to theft of government funds and 16 other felony counts involving workers compensation fraud. The guilty plea led to a sentence of 18 months in prison, followed by three years' supervised release. (WCxKit)
The woman, who moved to the United States from England in 1990, became a citizen and got a job with the post office three years later.
Prosecutors said the woman stopped working at the Port Orange Post Office in 2005 when she injured her neck while picking up a tray of mail. Placed on disability status, she was offered a desk job in early 2009. She didn't take the position because of her injury, according to records.
At a hearing in January in federal court prosecutor Bishop Ravenel told the judge postal authorities became suspicious when they sent the woman fake promotional questionnaires. The "direct mail" fliers asked her about activities she "enjoyed."
"The idea was, if somebody indicated an activity which was different from what they said their limitation was," the prosecutor stated, "you'd have a pretty good idea they were defrauding the government."
Investigators said they learned the woman had acquired a real estate license and was working after she went on disability. She traveled to China, New Zealand, and rode on expensive boats. When a search warrant was served at her home last year, investigators said they found more evidence of fraud than they expected. (WCxKit)
"During the time period in which she's supposed to be permanently disabled, we have a video of her doing a back flip off a trapeze," the prosecutor noted.
At her sentencing hearing, the woman admitted she did not report outside income or improvement in her medical condition saying, "I rode on a horse. I rode on a jet boat. I purposefully did not exert an excellent effort when I took a functional exam. I take full and complete responsibility."
Author Rebecca Shafer, JD is President of Amaxx Risks Solutions, Inc. is a national expert in the field of workers compensation. She is a writer, speaker and website publisher. Her expertise is working with industry employers to reduce their workers compensation costs, and her client base includes airlines, healthcare, printing/publishing, pharmaceuticals, retail, hospitality and manufacturing. Contact: RShafer@ReduceYourWorkersComp.com  or 860-553-6604.
  
 
Join WC Group:  http://www.linkedin.com/groups?homeNewMember=&gid=1922050/
WC Calculator:  http://www.LowerWC.com/calculator.php
TD Calculator:  http://www.LowerWC.com/transitional-duty-cost-calculator.php 

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.
  
©2010 Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. All rights reserved under International Copyright Law. If you would like permission to reprint this material, contact
 Info@ReduceYourWorkersComp.com
 

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