Former Federal Bureau of Prisons Employee Charged with Fraudulently Obtaining Compensation Benefits
James L. Santelle, the United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Wisconsin, announced that Christopher A. Seifer (age: 43) of Westfield, Wisconsin, has been indicted by a federal grand jury in Milwaukee. The indictment charges Mr. Seifer with four counts of mail fraud, in violation of Title 18, United States Code § 1341, and one count of theft of government property, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, § 641.
The indictment alleges that Mr. Seifer submitted over 1,380 false and fraudulent claim forms seeking reimbursement from the federal government for mileage expenses he falsely claimed to have incurred by driving to health clubs for rehabilitation. The indictment alleges that Mr. Seifer did not, in fact, travel to the health clubs on at least 1,380 of the dates, between March 28, 2006 and October 2, 2012, for which Mr. Seifer sought reimbursement of travel expenses.
As a result of the false travel-expense claims, according to the indictment, Mr. Seifer fraudulently obtained over $87,289.99 in reimbursement payments from 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. According to the indictment, 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.
Each of the mail fraud counts subjects Mr. Seifer to a possible term of imprisonment of up to twenty years, a fine of up to $250,000, or both; a mandatory $100 special assessment; and up to three years of supervised release. The theft of government property count subjects Mr. Seifer to a possible term of imprisonment of up to 10 years, a fine of up to $250,000, or both, plus a mandatory $100 special assessment and up to three years of supervised release.
In announcing this indictment, James L. Santelle, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Wisconsin commented: “This prosecution and others like it reflect our continuing, focused work in investigating and prosecuting those individuals, including employees of the federal government, who wrongly use taxpayers’ monies for their own purposes. The partnership among the United States Department of Labor and the United States Department of Justice in identifying and cataloguing the many instances of fraud, as alleged in this indictment, is not only critical to our appropriate response to behaviors involving false claims but also reflects the unified mission and strategy of all law enforcement entities here in Eastern Wisconsin.”
“These efforts reflect the importance of ongoing collaboration between federal agencies” stated John Oleskowicz, Special Agent in Charge of the United States Department of Justice, Office of Inspector General, Chicago Field Office. Oleskowicz continued “We hope that this prosecution will deter others from stealing federal funds.”
This case has been investigated by the U.S. Department of Labor, Office of Inspector General, Office of Labor Racketeering & Fraud Investigations and The U.S. Department of Justice Office of the Inspector General, Chicago Field Office. An indictment is only a charge and is not evidence of guilt. A defendant is presumed innocent and is entitled to a fair trial at which the government must prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.