FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
MONDAY - March 5, 2012
FORMER CAMP LEJEUNE EMPLOYEE RECEIVES FEDERAL SENTENCE FOR WORKERS COMPENSATION FRAUD
WILMINGTON – United States Attorney Thomas G. Walker announced that in federal court on March 1, 2012, Senior United States District Judge James C. Fox sentenced MICHAEL LEE LANIER to five years probation, six months home detention with electronic monitoring, and payment of $30,000 restitution to the Department of Labor (DOL) Office of Workers Compensation Programs (OWCP).
LANIER is a former civilian employee of Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune. On October 3 2011, LANIER, 57, of Beulaville, North Carolina, pled guilty to making false and fraudulent statements in his application for receipt of Federal Employment Workers Compensation Benefits, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1920.
The DOL OWCP operates programs providing monetary compensation, medical benefits, and other benefits and assistance to Federal civilian employees who sustain an on-the-job or work-related injury or illness. The Federal Employees Compensation Act (FECA) provides these benefits for eligible employees. OWCP provides medical benefits for eligible employees and also compensates them with a monthly tax-exempt payment. OWCP determines the amount of payment based on the number of the employee's dependents and the extent of the employee's injury or illness.
OWCP monitors the program by mailing an annual self-certification form. Recipients certify on the form whether they participated in any type of employment, self-employment, or employment-related activities during the previous 15 months. OWCP also sends various forms to recipients requiring the recipient to confirm any change in status. For example, recipients must report if they return to their work. The recipient must answer all of the questions and certify under penalty of law that the information submitted is true, correct, and complete. The recipient must return the form to OWCP. OWCP may use the employee's responses to re-evaluate or confirm the amount of, or entitlement to, benefits.
According to the Indictment, beginning in 2006, and continuing to and including June 2010, LANIER submitted materially false information that he was not working for an employer, self-employed, involved in a business enterprise, or performing volunteer work, when in fact he had been performing work as a sales person, property manager and deliver driver for two local pharmacies, a sales representative and manager in a used car sales business, and a vehicle dismantler and general worker in a vehicle scrapping business.
Investigation of this case was conducted by Marine Corps Installations East FECA Fraud Investigation Unit and the Naval Criminal Investigative Service. Special Assistant United States Attorney Ralph H. Kohlmann represented the government.