USPS mail handler pleads guilty to defrauding Worker's Compensation System

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A former mail handler at the US Postal Service pled guilty in US District Court to defrauding the Federal Worker's Compensation System.

David P. VanDeusen started collecting worker's compensation payments in 1991, claiming that he injured his back moving mail at the USPS's distribution center on Taft Road in North Syracuse, NY.

Shortly after, VanDeusen started buying and selling cars for his wife's car dealership in Tully, selling approximately 881 cars in 15 years.

Every year VanDeusen filled out a sworn statement saying he had no income other than the workers' comp benefits, which is about $2,100 a month.

VanDeusen was also engaged in operation with Super Seal of Central New York and Affordable Sign Co.

The case was jointly investigated by the USPS Office of the Inspector General, Social Security Administration and the US Department of Labor.

"Investigators just randomly started looking at files of employees who were getting worker's compensation," said Dan Mihalko, communications representative for the Office of the Inspector General. "Something did not look right about Mihalko's file and warranted more investigation."

VanDeusen has agreed to pay restitution in the amount of $392,864, which is the total amount of worker's compensation paid to him since 1988. He may face as much as five years of imprisonment, a fine of $250,000 and a period of supervised release following any jail sentence.

His sentencing hearing is scheduled for December 13.

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