Former U.S. Postal Service Employee Sentenced for Work Comp Fraud

August 28, 2009

A former employee of the U.S. Postal Service in El Paso, Texas, has been sentenced to 10 months in federal prison for workers’ compensation fraud.

John E. Murphy, Acting United States Attorney, said Jose Barraza was sentenced for fraudulently acquiring workers’ compensation payments in connection with an alleged on-the-job injury to his arm.

U.S. District Judge Frank Montalvo ordered Barraza to pay $1,400 in a special assessment to the Crime Victims Fund and pay $54,851.30 in restitution to the U.S. Postal Service and Department of Labor, Office of Worker’s Compensation. Barraz will be placed under supervised release for three years after completing his prison term.

On June 30, 2009, a jury found Barraza guilty on 14-counts of fraudulently acquiring workers’ compensation payments. Barraza had claimed to be unable to work, completely disabled and in need of surgery for his injured arm. However, surveillance videos shown to the jury depicted Barraza at a UTEP football game, painting his house, and throwing tires and other debris into a dumpster, all with full use of his arm.

As a result of his fraudulent claims, Barraza had been paid compensation and medical costs of $54,851.30.

Source: U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Texas

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