Postal Worker Claimed Work-Related Disability
SYRACUSE, NEW YORK – Lynn M. Allen, 47, of Marcy, New York, appeared in federal court in Syracuse on charges stemming from a scheme to defraud the United States Postal Service and the U.S. Department of Labor of more than $94,000 in federal disability compensation payments, announced United States Attorney Richard S. Hartunian and Eileen Neff, Special Agent in Charge, United States Postal Service Office of Inspector General (USPS OIG), Northeast Area Field Office.
Allen was arrested earlier today in Utica, New York, while at work at the New York State Workers’ Compensation Board. Following her court appearance before United States Magistrate Judge David E. Peebles, she was released pending trial.
The five-count indictment charges Allen with wire fraud, theft of government money, federal employees’ compensation fraud and includes a forfeiture allegation seeking a money judgment in the amount of $94,253.95. The indictment alleges that Allen received federal disability benefits after claiming that she injured her shoulder, back, and neck while working for the Postal Service. According to the indictment, Allen supported her disability claim by reporting that her injuries prevented her from grasping objects or reaching above the shoulder and that she could not engage in any repetitive reaching, bending, stooping, or movements of the wrists and elbows. The indictment further alleges that Allen continued to certify that she was disabled and unable to work for the Postal Service while playing in several recreational softball leagues in Rome, New York, and that in one instance, she played in a competitive softball game hours after claiming that she could not reach above her shoulder at all. If convicted, Allen faces up to 20 years in prison and a maximum fine of $250,000. Sentences are imposed by a judge based upon the particular statute the defendant is charged with violating, the United States Sentencing Guidelines and other factors.
The charges in the indictment are merely accusations. The defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty. This case is being investigated by USPS OIG and is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael F. Perry.