News and Press Releases

Westmoreland County Woman Sentenced To Probation For Filing False Claims To The Government Regarding Mail Contract

July 29, 2011

PITTSBURGH, Pa. - A resident of Luxor, Pa., has been sentenced in federal court to three years probation and six months home detention on her conviction of false claims against the United States, United States Attorney David J. Hickton announced today.

Chief United States District Judge Gary L. Lancaster imposed the sentence on Barbara Ruffner, 40.

According to information presented to the court, Ruffner bid and received a contract to transport mail that required her to pay her drivers a certain wage and fringe benefit rate as set by the United States Department of Labor. Ruffner filed claims with the United States Postal Service that she was entitled to receive an increase in her contract rates to pay her employees additional money because the United States Department of Labor had increased the wage rate applicable to her employees. Ruffner, however, never paid her employees the wage and fringe benefits rates as required under the contract and did not do so after applying for increased funding. The loss to her employees was approximately $69,567.73.  The loss to the United States Postal Service was $12,934.25, totaling $82,501.98.

Assistant United States Attorney Paul E. Hull prosecuted this case on behalf of the government.

U.S. Attorney Hickton commended the United States Department of Labor, Office of Inspector General, the United States Department of Labor, Wage and Hour Division, and the United States Postal Service, Office of Inspector General for the investigation leading to the successful prosecution of Ruffner.

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