Montana Woman Sentenced on Federal Workers’ Comp Fraud Charges

Bonnie Schreiber has been sentenced in federal court in Billings, Mont., on charges of improperly receiving federal workers’ compensation benefits. Schreiber was found guilty after a three-day trial of wire fraud, bank fraud and theft of government property in October of 2008, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Montana.

Schreiber was sentenced to 15 months in prison and three years of supervised release. She must pay a special assessment of $400 and $68,726 in restitution.

At trial, the evidence showed that Schreiber engaged in a disability fraud scheme, the U.S. Attorney’s announcement stated. From 2006 to the time of indictment, Schreiber had received $68,726 in federal workers’ compensation benefits that were wired directly into her bank account. She was receiving disability payments for an alleged back injury she received years before.

Schreiber was found to have made material false representations to her doctors and the government about her medical condition and limitations when she well knew that she was capable of a wide range of activities.

Specifically, she represented to her treating physician in 2006 that her condition was, if anything, getting worse. She reported to the Department of Labor that she could not bend straight legged, could not work more than a half hour, was unable to bend over to perform routine actions and was totally disabled.

Schreiber made these representations despite the fact that she knew, and was video taped, performing a wide range of outdoor activities such as hunting, fishing, stacking and cutting firewood, operating a tractor, bending from the waist to perform manual labor and hauling wood.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Ryan M. Archer prosecuted the case for the United States.

Because there is no parole in the federal system, the “truth in sentencing” guidelines mandate that Schreiber will likely serve all of the time imposed by the court. In the federal system, Schreiber does have the opportunity to earn a sentence reduction for “good behavior.” However, this reduction will not exceed 15 percent of the overall sentence.

The investigation was conducted by the Department of Labor Office of Inspector General and the Postal Inspection Service Office of Inspector General.

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