Camera on D.C. Bus Paints Different Picture from Reported Injury Claim

November 12, 2004

United States Attorney Kenneth Wainstein announced that James H. Patterson, Jr., 41, of 31st Street, S.E., Washington, D.C., was sentenced recently for his felony conviction of mail fraud related to his unsuccessful scheme to defraud Metro.

The Honorable Richard Leon sentenced Patterson to six months of home detention to be followed by two years of probation during which he must perform 480 hours of community service. On July 20, 2004, Patterson pled guilty to the charge of mail fraud in connection with the incident.

According to the statement of the offense agreed to by Patterson and the government, on June 28, 2003, while Patterson was on duty with his job at Downtown DC BID Services Corporation, a bus operated by the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (hereinafter “WMATA”) came close to striking him, but did not actually strike him, as the bus turned a corner at 10th and F Streets, N.W., Washington, D.C.

Although Patterson reportedly knew that the bus did not strike him, he decided to claim that it did. Patterson visited the emergency room and thereafter received treatment from a doctor during July and August 2003 for alleged injuries to his right shoulder and right elbow. Patterson took leave from work because of his alleged injuries. He also obtained the services of two attorneys, one of whom would make a workman’s compensation claim against The Hartford, the insurance company for Downtown DC BID Services Corporation, and the other of whom would make a damages claim against WMATA.

One of Patterson’s attorneys placed in the United States mail a letter dated Aug. 15, 2003, and addressed to the Office of Workers’ Compensation, 64 New York Avenue, N.E., Washington, D.C. 20002, as part of the workman’s compensation process. A second attorney of Patterson’s placed in the United States mail a letter dated Sept. 2, 2003, and addressed to WMATA, 600 5th Street, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20001, demanding $50,0000 for his alleged injuries.

The government and Patterson agreed that the readily provable, reasonably foreseeable intended loss from Patterson’s conduct was between $30,000 and $70,000.

A review of the film from the video camera mounted on the outside of the bus which came close to striking Patterson reportedly clearly shows that the bus did not strike him.

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