Former Federal Bureau of Prison Employee Sentenced for Fraudulently Obtaining Federal Workers Compensation benefits
United States Attorney James L. Santelle of the Eastern District of Wisconsin announced today that on September 19, 2014, Christopher A. Seifer (age: 43) of Westfield, Wisconsin, was sentenced to 15 months imprisonment followed by three years of supervised release, and ordered to pay $84,717.60 in restitution to the U.S. Department of Labor. Seifer was also ordered to pay a $500 special assessment.
On February 4, 2014, Mr. Seifer was charged in a five-count indictment alleging that he had submitted more than 1,380 fraudulent claims seeking reimbursement from the federal government for mileage expenses that he falsely claimed to have incurred by driving to health clubs for self-directed pool-therapy sessions. The indictment alleged that Mr. Seifer did not, in fact, travel to the health clubs on many of his claimed dates of travel between March 28, 2006, and October 2, 2012, for which Mr. Seifer had sought and obtained more than $84,000 in mileage-expense reimbursements. On June 19, 2014, following a four-day trial, a jury found Mr. Seifer guilty on all counts.
The evidence produced at trial demonstrated that Mr. Seifer had defrauded the Department of Labor’s Office of Workers Compensation Program, which provides disability-related benefits to federal workers who suffer disabilities as a result of work-related injuries, by submitting false travel reimbursement claims and obtaining payments on those false claims. Mr. Seifer had formerly been employed by the United States Bureau of Prisons as an Electronics Technician at the Federal Correctional Institution in Oxford, Wisconsin, where he suffered work-related injuries and was then entitled to receive benefits, including medical benefits under the Federal Employees Compensation Act.
In making today’s announcement about the sentence, United States Attorney Santelle stated: “The 15-month incarceration term imposed on this defendant reflects the gravity and breadth of the fraud that Mr. Seifer perpetrated on the United States Bureau of Prisons and the United States Department of Labor —and on the public whose trust he compromised. The fact that he is also now obliged, following a full trial and exposition of his false statements and claims for reimbursement under the Workers Compensation Program, to pay restitution in an amount of nearly $85,000 similarly confirms the vigor and the focus of the investigative and prosecutorial work that has preceded this result. I commend specially the United States Department of Labor, Office of Inspector General, Office of Labor Racketeering and Fraud Investigations, along with the United States Department of Justice’s Office of Inspector General, for the professionalism and precision of their investigative efforts in bringing this defendant and his fraudulent conduct to a decisive and deterrent-accomplishing end.”
This case was investigated by the United States Department of Labor, Office of Inspector General, Office of Labor Racketeering & Fraud Investigations and the United States Department of Justice Office of the Inspector General, Chicago Field Office. This case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Scott Campbell and Benjamin Proctor.