States Attorney's Office District of Connecticut
|January 6, 2011||
MYSTIC MAN CHARGED WITH ILLEGALLY RECEIVING DISABILITY BENEFITS
David B. Fein, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, today announced that a federal grand jury sitting in New Haven has returned an indictment charging FREDERICK CRANDALL, 62, of Mystic, with six counts of mail fraud stemming from an alleged fraudulent receipt of disability benefits from his employer. The indictment was returned on January 4.
The indictment alleges that CRANDALL was employed at General Dynamics-Electric Boat Corporation (“EB”) as a maintenance welder. In March 2003, CRANDALL claimed that he had injured his lower back and left leg while pulling welding leads in the yard at EB. In September 2003, CRANDALL filed a claim for compensation with the U.S. Department of Labor under the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act and, approximately one year later, EB began to provide payments and medical benefits to CRANDALL.
The indictment further alleges that, in December 2004, EB determined that CRANDALL could be placed on restricted duty status and work as an escort within EB with several limitations that would accommodate his claimed injuries. Even though CRANDALL initially agreed that he could perform the tasks and hours required by the escort position, in January 2005, he caused his doctor to provide a letter to EB claiming that CRANDALL was totally disabled from work due to chronic low back disease and thus unable to do any type of work.
It is alleged that CRANDALL devised a scheme in which he falsely claimed to EB employees, his doctor, independent medical professionals and others that he was totally disabled and unable to work as a welder at EB or to find suitable alternative work. As part of the scheme, CRANDALL caused his doctor to mail semiannual reports to EB falsely claiming that he was totally disabled, unable to work and thus had no earning capacity. During this time, however, it is alleged that CRANDALL continued to work for another business despite his claim that he was totally disabled.
Each of the six mail fraud counts relates to a disability check in the amount of $1,993.08 that CRANDALL received from EB between April 2007 and November 2008.
If convicted, CRANDALL faces a maximum term of imprisonment of 20 years, on each count.
U.S. Attorney Fein stressed that an indictment is only a charge and is not evidence of guilt. The defendant is entitled to a fair trial at which it is the Government’s burden to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.
This case is being investigated by the U.S. Department of Labor – Office of Inspector General, the Defense Criminal Investigative Service and the Naval Criminal Investigative Service. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Douglas P. Morabito.
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