Former Federal Bureau of Prisons Employee Convicted of Fraudulently Obtaining Federal Workers' Compensation Benefits
United States Attorney James Santelle announced today that after a four-day trial, a federal jury in the Eastern District of Wisconsin found Christopher A. Seifer (age 43) of Westfield, WI guilty yesterday of fraudulently obtaining reimbursement payments from the Department of Labor’s Office of Workers' Compensation Program for medically related travel.
On February 4, 2014, Mr. Seifer was charged in a five-count indictment alleging that he had submitted over 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 rehabilitation. The indictment alleges 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 sought and received reimbursement of travel expenses totaling in excess of $84,000.
The evidence produced at trial demonstrated that Mr. Seifer 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 announcing the verdict, United States Attorney James L. Santelle stated: “This conviction 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 many instances of fraud, including those of the sort that Mr. Seifer committed, is not only critical to our effective response to behaviors involving false claims but also reflects the unified mission and strategy of all law enforcement entities here in Eastern Wisconsin.”
"We are pleased to work together with our law enforcement partners to pursue such significant fraud by federal employees" stated John F. Oleskowicz, Special Agent in Charge of the United States Department of Justice Office of the Inspector General, Chicago Field Office. Oleskowicz continued "We hope that this verdict will serve to deter others from stealing federal funds."
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 and was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Scott Campbell and Benjamin Proctor.