The U.S. Department of Labor’s (DOL) Office of Workers’ Compensation Programs administers four major disability compensation programs, one of which is the Division of Federal Employees’ Compensation (DFEC). In FY 2019, DFEC provided more than $3 billion in benefits to more than 217,000 federal and postal workers and survivors for work-related injuries or illnesses. An Essex County, New Jersey U.S. Postal Service employee was recently convicted of workers’ compensation fraud for stealing $686,588 in federal benefits from DFEC she did not deserve.
Janeide Chillis, 53, of Irvington, New Jersey pleaded guilty to workers’ compensation fraud for lying about her condition and employment status. The former U.S. Postal Service employee claimed she suffered multiple disabling injuries from a slip-and-fall accident at work in March 2006. At that time, she signed and filed a form with the U.S. Department of Labor under penalty of perjury stating she was telling the truth. (Well, she wasn’t.)
Chillis backed up her claim with a letter from a New Jersey doctor that stated she was “temporarily totally disabled.” That letter of verification enabled Chillis to start receiving workers’ compensation benefits from the U.S. Department of Labor.
Over the next several years, the disabled postal worker was required to submit additional forms certifying that she was unemployed. Chillis was also required to report any additional income or information that would impact the receipt of benefits. So, beginning in 2011, you can understand why she did not report that she earned extra income and travelled extensively to Africa and France. (Funded by the Federal Government, of course. If she had been honest, those government benefits would have immediately been turned off.)
Chillis also received reimbursement payments for home health aide services during the same time. The home health aide benefits stopped in 2013, but Chillis continued to fill out the required forms for the DOL stating she was unemployed, not earning income, nor travelling on the government’s dime.
At her sentencing in September, Chillis faces a maximum of five years in prison and a fine of $250,000, or twice the gross gain or loss derived from the offense, whichever is greater. (It’s a given that this former postal officer will no longer be vacationing abroad compliments of the government.)
Today’s Fraud of the Day comes from an article, “Former U.S. Postal Service Employee Admits Filing False Documents to Receive Over $650,000 in Workers’ Compensation,” posted on insidernj.com on May 4, 2020.
NEWARK, N.J. – An Essex County, New Jersey, woman today admitted defrauding the U.S. Department of Labor, Office of Workers Compensation, U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito announced.
Janeide Chillis, 53, of Irvington, New Jersey, pleaded guilty by teleconference before U.S. District Judge Susan D. Wigenton to an information charging her with one count of making false statements and committing fraud to obtain federal workers’ compensation.