FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 15, 2011
CAMDEN, N.J. – A U.S. Treasury police officer employed at the Philadelphia Mint admitted filing false information with the Office of Workers’ Compensation Programs in order to receive federal disability assistance, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced.
Richard Rufo, 49, of Mount Laurel, N.J., pleaded guilty to an Information charging him with making and using false documents and concealing material facts to obtain workers’ compensation benefits. He entered his guilty plea before U.S. District Judge Joseph E. Irenas in Camden federal court.
According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:
On May 17, 2010, Rufo, who had been out on complete disability for an apparent back injury, fraudulently claimed he had not worked for any employer nor received any income between February 2009 and May 2010. During this time, Rufo admitted, in contradiction to his certification, he had been operating United Safety Supply Co. (USS), which sells law enforcement badges, pins, patches, coins and other memorabilia, from his residence. The company grossed in excess of $550,000 in receipts. Rufo admitted to receiving during this period $169,000 in Federal Employee Compensation Act (FECA) disability benefits to which he was not entitled.
The fraud count to which Rufo pleaded guilty carries a maximum potential penalty of up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine, or twice the gross gain or loss from the offense. Rufo is also responsible for making restitution of the $169,000 in FECA benefits paid to him while operating USS between February 2009 and May 2010.
Sentencing before Judge Irenas is scheduled for Feb. 23, 2012.
U.S. Attorney Fishman credited Special Agents of the Department of Treasury (OIG), under the direction of Special Agent in Charge John Phillips; and Special Agents from the Department of Labor, Office of Labor Racketeering and Fraud Investigations, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Robert Panella, with the investigation leading to the guilty plea.
The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney V. Grady O’Malley, Senior Litigation Counsel, of the U.S. Attorney’s Office Organized Crime/Gangs Unit in Newark.
Defense counsel: Ed Crisonino Esq., Westmont, N.J.