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Orlando Criminal Defense Lawyer > Blog > Criminal > How Misrepresenting Your Medical Status Can Lead to Mail Fraud Charges

How Misrepresenting Your Medical Status Can Lead to Mail Fraud Charges


Many white collar crimes, such as mail fraud, center on allegations that the defendant made false statements in connection with applying for government benefits. For example, say a person applies for disability. This requires them to provide evidence they suffer from a medical condition that prevents them from engaging in any meaningful work. If an applicant presents false or misleading information–that is, they knowingly lie about their medical condition to get disability benefits–that can be considered criminal fraud.

Florida Postal Worker Convicted After Lying to Workers Comp Investigators

Here is a practical example of what we mean. In a recent case from Tampa, United States v. Marshall, prosecutors charged a federal government employee with committing mail fraud in connection with her application for workers’ compensation benefits. Like private sector employees, federal employees are eligible to receive certain benefits under the Federal Employees Compensation Act (FECA) if they sustain a work-related injury.

In this case, prosecutors said the defendant, who worked for the United States Postal Service, signed a FECA claim form in September 2000. The Postal Service accepted the claim and started paying benefits starting in 2004. The defendant continued to receive these benefits through July 2018.

According to the government, the defendant received her last four workers’ compensation checks under false pretenses. Specifically, the defendant concealed information that she was capable of resuming work-related activities. At trial, a government investigator testified that he conducted surveillance of the defendant over a nine-month period and gathered video showing her engaging in activities such as yard work and going to the gym. This contradicted the information she provided in her annual forms certifying she remained disabled and unable to work due to her 2000 injury.

A federal jury found the defendant guilty of four counts of mail fraud, each representing a separate disability check she received from the government. The defendant moved for a judgment of acquittal, or alternatively for a new trial. But the judge presiding over the case upheld the jury’s verdict. The judge noted that the jury not only considered the surveillance evidence, but also the defendant’s own “false representations” to investigators when confronted with that evidence.

Contact the Joshi Law Firm Today

If you are ever in a situation where federal investigators or law enforcement suspects you of criminal fraud, remember that you always have the right to remain silent. You never have to answer questions that might incriminate you. And you always have the right to be represented by counsel. Keep in mind, getting caught in a lie–no matter how trivial it may seem at the time–is often enough to justify a formal criminal indictment or charge.

An experienced Orlando white collar criminal defense lawyer can advise you further of your rights in these scenarios. The Joshi Law Firm has decades of legal experience in representing Central Florida residents charged with a wide range of federal and state crimes. Call us today at 844-GO-JOSHI today or contact us online to schedule a free initial consultation.



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