rochester woman sentenced for workers compensation fraud
ROCHESTER, N.Y.--U.S. Attorney William J. Hochul, Jr. announced today that Amelia Jackson, 43, of Rochester, N.Y., who was convicted of workers compensation fraud, was sentenced to five years of probation, with the first six months on home detention, by U.S. District Court Judge Charles J. Siragusa. The defendant was also ordered to pay $14,524 in restitution.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Craig R. Gestring, who handled the case, stated that the defendant claimed to have sustained a work related injury in August of 2008 while employed by the United States Department of Veterans Affairs. As part of this claim, Jackson was limited in the amount of hours that she could work each day and was required to regularly report all outside income and employment. The defendant would regularly certify under oath that she was not engaged in any outside employment and that she was not receiving any other income. However, during this same time, Jackson opened and operated a liquor store in Rochester called “Last Call Liquors.”
Federal investigators observed the defendant going to her liquor store directly from her job at the VA during times she was falsely claiming to be home resting. During the times she was observed, Jackson did not seem to have any difficulty navigating the short staircase, reaching for, picking up, replacing bottles, or carrying the bag containing bottles to the door to give to customers. On at least one occasion, the defendant was recorded wearing her VA Identification while she was working in the liquor store.
As part of the investigation, Jackson appeared for an interview with a Workers Compensation Program representative to review her compensation file and current medical condition. Unknown to the defendant, the Workers Compensation Representative was actually an undercover federal agent. During this recorded interview, the defendant denied having any outside employment or income. At no time during this interview did Jackson disclose her ownership of a liquor store or any other employment outside of her federal job at the VA. During this interview, the defendant also falsely certified a Current Medical Assessment Evaluation denying outside employment or income. As a result of the defendant’s conduct, Jackson received $14,524.14 in Workers Compensation Benefits she would not otherwise be entitled to.
The sentencing is the culmination of an investigation on the part of Special Agents of the United States Department of Labor, New York Regional Office, Office of Inspector General, Office of Labor Racketeering and Fraud Investigations, under the direction of Cheryl Garcia, Acting Special Agent in Charge.