Former U.S. Postal Service Employee Guilty Of Workers’ Compensation Fraud
SAN JUAN, P.R. – Today, former U.S. Postal Service (USPS) employee Ricardo Rivera-Ortiz was found guilty on all counts of fraud associated with Department of Labor (DOL) Office of Workers’ Compensation Program (OWCP), announced United States Attorney for the District of Puerto Rico, Rosa Emilia Rodríguez Vélez. United States District Court Judge Gustavo A. Gelpí presided over the trial.
On August 30, 2013, Rivera-Ortiz was charged with three counts of false statements for lying to the U.S. Department of Labor, Office of Workers Compensation, one count of theft of government property for lying to the Social Security Administration Disability Benefits Program and a fifth count of concealing a material fact to the Social Security Administration for failing to disclose an improvement in his physical condition and capacity to work.
The defendant was found guilty on all counts. During trial, the government presented checks, invoices, vouchers, photos, videos and other documentary evidence and witness testimonies that proved that the defendant had been requesting and receiving unwarranted disability benefits from the OWCP and SSA while failing to report that he was working as a Union representative of the American Postal Workers Union.
“This conviction marks yet another victory in our fight against fraud in Puerto Rico. I thank our team of prosecutors and our federal law enforcement partners for the teamwork they showed in leading us to a successful outcome today,” said Rosa Emilia Rodríguez-Vélez, U.S. Attorney for the District of Puerto Rico.
The charges were prosecuted by Special Assistant United States Attorney Amanda C. Soto Ortega from the United States Postal Service-Office of the Inspector a General and Assistant United States Attorney Dennise N. Longo Quiñones. The defendant faces a sentence of imprisonment of at least 10 years for the theft of government property, at least 5 years of imprisonment for the false statement and concealment counts.
The case was investigated by the USPS-OIG with the collaboration of Social Security Administration - Office of Inspector General, the FBI, and the Puerto Rico Police Department.
The sentencing hearing was scheduled for October 10, 2017.