Safety and OSHA News

Employee goes to prison for workers’ comp fraud

Note to people receiving total disability benefits under workers’ comp: Don’t get caught horseback riding.

Karina Beard worked for the U.S. Postal Service in Groveland, CA. From October 2006 to January 2009, she received workers’ comp benefits for an injury.

Bears had physical restrictions because of the injury: no reaching, no pushing, no pulling, no driving for more than 20 minutes, etc.

Yet, Beard was caught horseback riding, caring for horses, performing yard work and driving, all using the allegedly injured part of her body.

Last fall, she pleaded guilty to four counts of mail fraud and two counts of federal workers’ comp fraud.

Beard made false claims on a workers’ comp form. Workers on federal comp must report at least once a year if there have been any changes in their medical condition.

A judge sentenced Beard to one year in prison followed by three years of supervised release. She also has to pay $81,694 in restitution.

Beard had faced up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine for each count of federal workers’ comp fraud.

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