Convicted Ponzi Schemer and Alleged Conspirator Indicted for Multimillion-Dollar Fraud Scheme and Obstruction of Justice
NEWARK, N.J. – A Morris County, New Jersey, woman employed by the U.S. Postal Service today admitted making false statements in several claim forms seeking disability compensation, U.S. Attorney Philip R. Sellinger announced.
Pamela VanSyckle, 60, of Oak Ridge, New Jersey, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Court Judge Katharine S. Hayden in Newark federal court to an information charging her with one count of federal employee compensation fraud.
According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:
VanSyckle worked for the U.S. Postal Service as a rural carrier. In September 2020, VanSyckle signed and filed a claim form alleging that she sustained an injury at work. Thereafter, she signed and filed multiple federal claim forms alleging that she had not worked or had outside employment for extended periods of time. Based on the submission of those claims, VanSyckle received $156,872 in disability payments from the federal government.
During the time in which she received disability benefits, VanSyckle was in fact working as the owner and operator of a travel agency. While alleging in her claim forms that she was neither self-employed nor involved in any business enterprise, VanSyckle performed a variety of services for the travel agency including sales, marketing, and financial operations.
The fraud charge carries a maximum potential sentence of five years in prison and a maximum fine equal to the greatest of $250,000 or twice the gross amount of any pecuniary gain that any persons derived from the offense. Sentencing is scheduled for June 12, 2024.
U.S. Attorney Sellinger credited special agents of the U.S. Postal Service – Office of Inspector General, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Matthew Modaferri in Newark; special agents of the U.S. Department of Labor – Office of Inspector General, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Jonathan Mellone; and members of the Jefferson Township Police Department, under the direction of Chief Paul Castimore, with the investigation leading to today’s guilty plea.
The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Thomas S. Kearney of the U.S. Attorney’s Office Special Prosecutions Unit in Newark.