A federal grand jury has indicted a former postal employee for fraudulently obtaining disability benefits through false statements.
U.S. Attorney Michael J. Sullivan; Marjorie Frazman, Special Agent in Charge of the Department of Labor, Inspector General’s Office; Joanne Yarbrough, Acting Postal Inspector in Charge of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service; and Inspector Martin J. Dickman of the Railroad Retirement Board’s, Office of the Inspector General announced that RONALD E. LICHTENSTEIN, 57, of 11 Grasshopper Lane, Walpole, MA was charged by a federal grand jury with three counts of mail fraud, three counts of making false statements to obtain Federal Employee Compensation and one count of making false statements in relation to obtaining a disability annuity from the Railroad Retirement Board (“RRB”).
The indictment alleges that LICHTENSTEIN, who was employed by Conrail from 1985 to 1995, and the postal service from 1998-1999, filed claims for disability with the RRB and with Department of Labor’s Office of Workers’ Compensation Program (“OWCP”) on the basis of a stress disorder, following a heart attack and bypass surgery. LICHTENSTEIN’s applications were approved, and he began receiving approximately $2500 a month from OWCP, and between $1700 and $2000 a month from the RRB, from 1999. The indictment also alleges that LICHTENSTEIN concealed from, and made false statements to, these agencies in certifying to OWCP on a yearly basis from 2003 through 2005, and to RRB in 2004, that he was not working or self-employed. The indictment alleges that, during the period of claimed disability, LICHTENSTEIN actively participated in the operation of a business out of his home called the Algonquin Sweeping and Striping Company.
If convicted, LICHTENSTEIN faces a maximum punishment of 20 years in prison on each count of mail fraud, five years in prison on each count of making a false statement to obtain federal employees’ compensation, five years on making a false statement to the RRB and a maximum fine of $250,000 on each count.
The case was investigated by agents from the Department of Labor Inspector General’s Office, the Postal Inspection Service, and the Railroad Retirement Board’s Office of the Inspector General. It is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney S. Theodore Merritt of the Public Corruption Unit.
The details contained in the Indictment are allegations. The defendant is presumed to be innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.