Former U.S. Postal Service Employee Admits Filing False Documents to Receive Over $650,000 in Workers’ Compensation
(STL.News) – An Essex County, New Jersey, woman today admitted defrauding the U.S. Department of Labor, Office of Workers Compensation, U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito announced.
Janeide Chillis, 53, of Irvington, New Jersey, pleaded guilty by teleconference before U.S. District Judge Susan D. Wigenton to an information charging her with one count of making false statements and committing fraud to obtain federal workers’ compensation.
According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:
Chillis was a U.S. Postal Service employee. In March 2006, she signed and filed under penalty of perjury a form with the U.S. Department of Labor claiming she suffered disabling injuries from a slip-and-fall accident at work. Chillis also provided a letter from a New Jersey doctor who claimed that Chillis was “temporarily totally disabled.” As a result of those representations, Chillis began receiving workers’ compensation benefits from the U.S. Department of Labor. For the next several years, in order to maintain such benefits, Chillis periodically submitted additional forms certifying that she was unemployed and would report any income or other information that affected her receipt of benefits. Notwithstanding those representations, from 2011 through the present, Chillis earned extra income and travelled extensively, including to Africa and France, all of which she did not report to the U.S. Department of Labor.
During the same time period, Chillis also received reimbursement payments for home health aide services. Beginning in 2013, she stopped receiving home health aide services, but continued receiving reimbursement based on false representations she made to the U.S. Department of Labor.
In total, Chillis received $686,588 in federal benefits from her fraud.
The count of making false statements and committing fraud to obtain federal workers’ compensation benefits is punishable by a maximum of five years in prison and a fine of $250,000, or twice the gross gain or loss derived from the offense, whichever is greater. Sentencing is scheduled for Sept. 10, 2020.
U.S. Attorney Carpenito credited special agents of the U.S. Postal Service, Office of Inspector General, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge of the Northeast Area Field Office Matthew M. Modafferi; the Department of Labor, Office of Inspector General, New York Region, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Michael C. Mikulka; the Social Security Administration Office of the Inspector General, New York Field Division, under the direction of Special Agent-in-Charge John Grasso; and special agents of IRS-Criminal Investigation, under the direction of Acting Special Agent in Charge Laura J. Perry, with the investigation leading to today’s guilty plea.