Ohio Postal Worker Gets 5 Months Prison for Workers’ Comp Fraud

Press Release from the United States Attorney, Northern District of Ohio

(January 27, 2011) Former postal employee Norman J. Motko, Jr., 61, of Cleveland, was sentenced to five months imprisonment and ordered to pay $116,980.34 in restitution after previously pleading guilty to worker’s compensation fraud, Steven M. Dettelbach, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Ohio, today announced.

U.S. District Judge Lesley Wells also sentenced Motko to three years of supervised release following his prison term.

On July 8, 2010, Motko pleaded guilty to one count of worker’s compensation fraud. The charge arose out of Motko’s employment as a motor vehicle services operator (truck driver) with the U.S. Postal Service and worker’s compensation payments Motko received between December 2004 and February 2008.

Motko misrepresented his medical condition when he was, in fact, able to work. He represented that he was unable to walk from the parking lot to the post office, according to court documents. In fact, he operated snow removal and lawn care businesses at the same time he was collecting worker’s compensation, according to court documents.

“These types of fraud cases need to be prosecuted vigorously, and we will continue to do so,” Dettelbach said.

“The U.S. Postal Service pays over $1 billion annually in workers’ compensation costs,” said Eastern Area Special Agent in Charge Elizabeth A. Farcht, U.S. Postal Service Office of Inspector General. “The majority of postal employees who collect federal workers’ compensation benefits have legitimate claims due to on-the-job injuries and are truly unable to perform any work. A small percentage, however, abuse the system and cost the Postal Service millions of dollars in fraudulent claims. This conviction and sentencing should put those who choose to defraud the system on notice that Special Agents with the USPS Office of Inspector General will aggressively investigate these cases, and present them to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for criminal prosecution when appropriate. Last year, our workers’ compensation fraud investigations resulted in more than 90 arrests, nearly 40 convictions, and saved the Postal Service $185 million in future payments.”

James Vanderberg, Special Agent in Charge for the Chicago Region of the U.S. Department of Labor Office of Inspector General, stated: “This sentence highlights the OIG’s determination to investigate fraud against the Federal Employees’ Compensation Act (FECA) which provides workers’ compensation coverage to over three million Federal and Postal workers for work-related injuries or illnesses. The OIG is firmly committed to aggressively pursuing and investigating those who violate Department of Labor Programs.”

The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Phillip J. Tripi. The investigation preceding the indictment was jointly conducted by the U.S. Postal Service Office of Inspector General and the Department of Labor Office of Inspector General.

5 thoughts on “Ohio Postal Worker Gets 5 Months Prison for Workers’ Comp Fraud

  1. As stated in comment above; once on OWCP one may remain for life. Why at age 65 is one not automatically put on disability retirement?. They will never return to the workplace. Was amazing that some 85 yrs. old on OWCP rolls drawing 75% tax free. IN the realitiees of life when it is obvious that federal employyes are on OWCP rolls when they in a real life situation would be retired.. Employees injured on the job are entitled to OWCP benefits until it is apparent they would be retired by age 65 at which time they should be removed from OWCP and placed in disability retirement. Good to see that someone in politics is going to give attention. Senator Collins thanks.

  2. Glad to see an abuser get his. But the shotgun approach the PO uses is inhumane. How many thousands have been harrassed or accused by the Managers who direct the OIG to investigate? I was legitametly injured on the job. An up and coming manager sat me down and made veiled threats and accusations of fraud. She did not even know what my injury was when asked. But she knew it was fraud. When I talked to some other injured employees in Vegas and I found she was for some reason almost exclusively targeting Viet Nam Vets. (I’m Viet Nam Era but was never in country.) Union told us they couldn’t help…”If’s not contractual. You guys will have to get a lawyer.” Turns out this manager was a Vietnamese orphan abandonded because she was fathered by US soldier. HMMMM…. what a coincidence. By the way this person is now the Postmaster of the town where Marcus Welby M.D. was set. Enough of a hint Santa Barbara residents?.

  3. Once they are on Worker’s Comp they can stay for life. A Congresswoman in Maine has recently pointed out that the Post Office currently has 3 employees on Disability leave that are 98 YEARS OLD !!!!!! and over 1000 that are 85 OR OLDER !!!!! Evidently the Post Office can’t just move them over to regular retirement when they reach 65. On Disability leave they get 66 to 75% of their normal pay TAX FREE !!!!! Who wouldn’t want to stay on that ??????????????? Maybe the Post Office should be looking in that direction also, it only took a FIRST TIME CONGRESSWOMAN to point that out !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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