Federal worker busted in worker’s comp fraud by… “Price is Right” appearance

posted at 10:01 pm on June 4, 2013 by Mary Katharine Ham

From my home state of North Carolina, a tale of malfeasance rooted out by the righteous whir of the big wheel:

A former Fayetteville postal carrier who was receiving worker’s compensation payments after injuring herself on the job pleaded guilty to fraud in federal court Monday.

Cathy Wrench Cashwell’s claim that she couldn’t lift mail trays into a truck due to a 2004 on-the-job shoulder injury was called into question in September 2009 when she appeared on “The Price is Right” and spun the “big wheel” twice.

According to an indictment filed in September 2012, Cashwell “raised her left arm above her head and gripped the handle with her left hand.” On a second spin, she “raised both arms above her head and gripped the same handle with both hands.”

Cashwell was also seen lifting furniture and was known to do a little ziplining.

Also from my home state, the Carolina Journal has been doing a series on tax return fraud, which the IRS hasn’t been so hot at stopping. You know, they’ve been busy documenting the family members and prayers of tiny Tea Party groups:

RALEIGH — Clinton residents Angela Christina Lainez-Flores and her daughter Karen Mejia filed fraudulent federal tax returns for refunds totaling $1.4 million from tax years 2006 through 2012, IRS special agent Bennett Strickland stated Thursday at a probable cause hearing in a Raleigh federal courtroom.

Lainez-Flores and Mejia had been charged with conspiracy to defraud the federal government by filing fraudulent income tax returns. The scheme involved fabricated identities, phony W-2 earnings statements, and the listing of dependents who do not exist. If convicted of all charges, the maximum penalty would be imprisonment for 10 years. Each woman waived her right to a detention hearing and will remain in custody until trial.

This type of crime often is referred to as Stolen Identity Refund Fraud, or SIRF, and the IRS has described it as the No. 1 tax fraud scheme for 2013. It affects an untold number of innocent taxpayers, costing the federal government billions. It relies on two weaknesses in the operations of the Internal Revenue Service: its desire to get returns to taxpayers quickly, and a timing gap in how it deals with employees and employers.

And, let’s tie all this fraud and mismanagement in a bow, shall we, as corrupt Postal Service workers combine with an inept IRS to enable a criminal enterprise that stole millions from taxpayers:

NEWARK — Seven people, two of them U.S. Postal Service employees, have been charged in a multimillion dollar tax fraud scam that involved intercepting U.S. Treasury checks and using the ill-gotten gains to form shell corporations, purchase expensive cars and gamble in Atlantic City, officials said today.

In all, the group allegedly stole nearly $2 million in tax refunds after they bribed two Queens mail carriers to intercept the fraudulent checks between November 2011 and April 2013, U.S. Attorney Paul Fishman said.

The checks were generated using Social Security numbers stolen from residents in Puerto Rico and falsified wage information, then directed to addresses along the mail route controlled by the two crooked mail carriers, Fishman said.

Danny Werfel would like you to know he’s got everything under control and things are totally being run smoothly now. And, President Obama would like to assure you, if that’s not the case, he’ll definitely read about it in the paper eventually.


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A shoulder injury that lasted for 5 years and there wasn’t ANYTHING else she could have done at the Post Office? Public union trash.

Bishop on June 4, 2013 at 10:06 PM

“Spinning the Wheel is completely different then lifting mail…” -
Juan Williams

Electrongod on June 4, 2013 at 10:07 PM

Bishop on June 4, 2013 at 10:06 PM

You just spun “100″ by being the first post and you don’t even flinch…

Electrongod on June 4, 2013 at 10:09 PM

I don’t even know what to say anymore.

gophergirl on June 4, 2013 at 10:15 PM

heh!! thought she was winnin’ by spinnin’ but she wasn’t….

Fayetteville, NC….yeesh! where’s hawkdriver? no wonder he ain’t been gettin’ his junk mail…/

ted c on June 4, 2013 at 10:16 PM

Tip.Of.The.Iceberg.

CW on June 4, 2013 at 10:16 PM

Next look at social security workers in Baltimore see if any work at other jobs after checking in?

losarkos on June 4, 2013 at 10:17 PM

But remember, Reagan’s “Welfare Queen” is racist.

Marcus on June 4, 2013 at 10:17 PM

Even if she had the disability that she fraudulently claimed, couldn’t she have manned the service window? There’s never enough windows open.

IrishEyes on June 4, 2013 at 10:17 PM

“Federal investigators say Cashwell knowingly lied when she wrote on her worker’s compensation paperwork in September 2011 that she couldn’t stand, sit, kneel, squat, climb, bend, reach or grasp.”

In other words…

… She’s a quivering blob of goo that needs to be fed.

No doubt she voted for Obowma, twice…

… No doubt.

Seven Percent Solution on June 4, 2013 at 10:18 PM

Oh,well.
At least he wasn’t on the ‘Wheel of Fortune’ trying to answer the puzzle of “People who annoy you”.

Dr. Carlo Lombardi on June 4, 2013 at 10:19 PM

“Spinning the Wheel is completely different then lifting mail…” -
Juan Williams

Electrongod on June 4, 2013 at 10:07 PM

Juan is nothing compared to Melitha Harrith Perry, who would say she’s owed it no matter WHAT the circumstance.

Marcus on June 4, 2013 at 10:19 PM

The USPS is going to have a revelation.

they will now install lifesize Price is Right wheels in every post office in an effort to get their slacker employees to do something for a change. Instead of delivering mail, they’ll just spin the wheel and get paid anyway…..
what a business model, eh?

ted c on June 4, 2013 at 10:19 PM

I don’t even know what to say anymore.

gophergirl on June 4, 2013 at 10:15 PM

That’s the worst thing of all about where we are. There are so many scandals, frauds, and criminalities. So many don’t pay attention. Others applaud.

This won’t end well.

Sadly, part of me is kind of looking forward to that.

trigon on June 4, 2013 at 10:21 PM

Even if she had the disability that she fraudulently claimed, couldn’t she have manned the service window? There’s never enough windows open.

IrishEyes on June 4, 2013 at 10:17 PM

That might not be in the job description of the category number of her position. It might even require a pay cut. We’re dealing with unions here, after all.

“Spinning the Wheel is completely different then lifting mail…” -
Juan Williams

Electrongod on June 4, 2013 at 10:07 PM

That’s likely the thread winner.

Liam on June 4, 2013 at 10:21 PM

I work in a UAW shop and the holy grail is the get on disability. The whole place is full of reprobates who scheme to get benefits. They doctor shop. Its pathetic. There is one individual that has completely destroyed every job they have ever bid into. They abuse the crap out of workers comp as well.

tom daschle concerned on June 4, 2013 at 10:22 PM

Proof again of why O’bama lost the 2012 college graduate vote, yet overwhelmingly won the vote of high school dropouts.

Del Dolemonte on June 4, 2013 at 10:26 PM

And not a single reference to Happy Gilmore in either the post or the comments up to this point? I’m disappointed.

Myron Falwell on June 4, 2013 at 10:27 PM

“Federal investigators say Cashwell knowingly lied when she wrote on her worker’s compensation paperwork in September 2011 that she couldn’t stand, sit, kneel, squat, climb, bend, reach or grasp.”

ROFL

And they accepted this? No one bothered to ask, “So if you can’t grasp or sit or bend, how did you drive your car here or use a pen to write on this form?”

Because no one cared, it’s not their money being flushed down the toilet.

Bishop on June 4, 2013 at 10:28 PM

The USPS is going to have a revelation.

they will now install lifesize Price is Right wheels in every post office in an effort to get their slacker employees to do something for a change. Instead of delivering mail, they’ll just spin the wheel and get paid anyway…..
what a business model, eh?

ted c on June 4, 2013 at 10:19 PM

Wither Plinko?

Myron Falwell on June 4, 2013 at 10:29 PM

So she appeared on the “Price Is Right”
But no mention of her on “Lets Make A Deal”

In Utopia..

There are no Deals..
Just The Right Price..

Electrongod on June 4, 2013 at 10:30 PM

Cathy,COME ON DOWN!!!

docflash on June 4, 2013 at 10:30 PM

Disability claims are tough. Many times, individuals will undergo an extensive functional capacity evaluation where their physical abilities/inabilities will be quantified. Most providers can tell when their being bullshited, however, you can’t say that. The patient is to get the benefit of the doubt.

ted c on June 4, 2013 at 10:30 PM

Jun 4, 2013 9:21 PM by Mary Katharine Ham

posted at 10:01 pm on June 4, 2013 by Mary Katharine Ham

…it’s ok!…take a breath!…we’re not Juan Williams here! (5 minutes from now AP will have the QOTD out)…BTW!…the longer you are on BOR…the more Juan gets his lunch handed to him!…I saw it coming…and I LIKE THAT!…pretty soon…he’ll only be able to have fluids!

KOOLAID2 on June 4, 2013 at 10:31 PM

And not a single reference to Happy Gilmore in either the post or the comments up to this point? I’m disappointed.

Myron Falwell on June 4, 2013 at 10:27 PM

The caption was but one crucial word away…

Gingotts on June 4, 2013 at 10:32 PM

No doubt she voted for Obowma, twice…

… No doubt.

Seven Percent Solution on June 4, 2013 at 10:18 PM

…you sure?…………just twice?

KOOLAID2 on June 4, 2013 at 10:33 PM

Queue the trombone

pt on June 4, 2013 at 10:34 PM

The patient is to get the benefit of the doubt.

ted c on June 4, 2013 at 10:30 PM

Then maybe the IRS should take over…
We have seen how ruthless they are..
Oh..

Is Cathy a Conservative?

Nevermind…

Electrongod on June 4, 2013 at 10:35 PM

Cathy Wrench Cashwell’s claim that she couldn’t lift mail trays into a truck due to a 2004 on-the-job shoulder injury

Wow. That must have been some injury … like her arm was ripped off or something. I could lift things while my collarbone was broken.

Of course, we all know that 85% (or more) of these worker’s comp claims are total, unadulterated BS. Just as 85% of the people with handicapped stickers are anything but.

This is the tyranny of the gimpy and the faux-gimpy, these days. It’s really quite pathetic. And, if someone can’t do some stupid mail job then they should just go and get another job. It’s not as if they’re skilled, to begin with.

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on June 4, 2013 at 10:37 PM

Liam on June 4, 2013 at 10:21 PM

Well, that and the Bishop stalking the first row.
I don’t know about the rest of ya, but I aims’ to pay attention to it all
It is CP writ large for overwhelming, though it just isn’t. We’re too aware.

mickytx on June 4, 2013 at 10:41 PM

I think that Cathy the Wench should be sentenced to 30 years HARD LABOR. They can charge people to come and watch her dig holes and fill them in and taunt her while she works.

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on June 4, 2013 at 10:41 PM

“Federal investigators say Cashwell knowingly lied when she wrote on her worker’s compensation paperwork in September 2011 that she couldn’t stand, sit, kneel, squat, climb, bend, reach or grasp.”

Yes, I’m completely unable to do just about anything except cash those checks. And spend the money… I can do that. /

Apparently I have been handling my relationship with the Federal Government all wrong…

ghostwalker1 on June 4, 2013 at 10:45 PM

While we’re dismantling the IRS, lets include the USPS as well.

SouthernGent on June 4, 2013 at 10:46 PM

“Federal investigators say Cashwell knowingly lied when she wrote on her worker’s compensation paperwork in September 2011 that she couldn’t stand, sit, kneel, squat, climb, bend, reach or grasp.”

——————————————–

“I lied about my disabilities because I’m a diabetic.” — Cathy the Wench

“I fail to see the connection. I’ve never heard of diabetes causing lying about disabilities.” — Judge Rayburn

“That’s because you’re a douchebag.” — Cathy the Wench

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on June 4, 2013 at 10:47 PM

Federal investigators say Cashwell knowingly lied when she wrote on her worker’s compensation paperwork in September 2011 that she couldn’t stand, sit, kneel, squat, climb, bend, reach or grasp.”

Thats it?? She said that and thats it??
Hey..Uncle Sugar Sam…I got a schpelkis in my connectagazoink…send me a check!

Mimzey on June 4, 2013 at 10:53 PM

I was in burbank and spun the wheel. Honest.. I threw my back out. There wasn’t a handicaped ramp to the wheel. It wasn’t clearly labeled. Thier was no waiver of liability signed.

wolly4321 on June 4, 2013 at 10:54 PM

…they bribed two Queens mail carriers to intercept the fraudulent checks…

–By James Queally/The Star-Ledger, linked in the OP

Sigh…this is the quality we have to rely on these days? The phrase “fraudulent checks” appears three times in that one article alone. Unless Mr. Queally is accusing the US Treasury, this “reporting” of this scam should be corrected and or retracted because this is egregious miscommunication due to lazy grammar.

Ms. Ham, you have three sources (links) to base this entry on, and one of them is laughable. Hot Air can do better than this.

RushBaby on June 4, 2013 at 11:04 PM

Wheel Of Misfortune.

whatcat on June 4, 2013 at 11:05 PM

Lainez-Flores and Mejia had been charged with conspiracy to defraud the federal government by filing fraudulent income tax returns. The scheme involved fabricated identities, phony W-2 earnings statements, and the listing of dependents who do not exist. If convicted of all charges, the maximum penalty would be imprisonment for 10 years. Each woman waived her right to a detention hearing and will remain in custody until trial.

I wonder if they’re here illegally? I suspect so.

The women made an initial appearance May 16 in federal court in Raleigh. Mejia, 25, and Lainez-Flores, 44, live in Clinton but they “represent a substantial risk of flight as they are in the U.S. from Honduras,” according to the criminal complaint filed

If they can just hang in there, Rubio’s amnesty will probably make this go away.

xblade on June 4, 2013 at 11:13 PM

Hahaha!! What an idiot.

libfreeordie on June 4, 2013 at 11:13 PM

“Federal investigators say Cashwell knowingly lied when she wrote on her worker’s compensation paperwork in September 2011 that she couldn’t stand, sit, kneel, squat, climb, bend, reach or grasp.”

She must be terribly constipated after all this time.

GrannyDee on June 4, 2013 at 11:27 PM

Hahaha!! What an idiot.

libfreeorgan on June 4, 2013 at 11:13 PM

…it’s ok…to laugh at yourself!

KOOLAID2 on June 4, 2013 at 11:30 PM

Apparently I have been handling my relationship with the Federal Government all wrong…

ghostwalker1 on June 4, 2013 at 10:45 PM

I prefer to keep it platonic. :)

Sockpuppet Politic on June 4, 2013 at 11:30 PM

“Federal investigators say Cashwell knowingly lied when she wrote on her worker’s compensation paperwork in September 2011 that she couldn’t stand, sit, kneel, squat, climb, bend, reach or grasp.”

Bridget Whelan, WRAL.com Web Editor

.
She must be terribly constipated after all this time.

GrannyDee on June 4, 2013 at 11:27 PM

.
So … according to her affidavit/compensation paperwork, she couldn’t do anything except lay in bed, be fed through a tube, and use a bedpan.
.
Since I’m on disability, I know that such extreme claims as those should not have been necessary.

Even with my bad knee, torn rotator cuff (that can’t be repaired), and Aspergian condition, I’m still able to load pre-cut firewood onto a cart (pulled by a lawn tractor), and throw it into the wood-stove.
I don’t do it near as fast as I used to, but I can still do it.

listens2glenn on June 4, 2013 at 11:51 PM

I work for a Work Comp claims administrator. Public sector employees are 80 times more likely to make fraudulent claims as compared to private sector employees.

The worse offenders are municipal police. You wouldnt believe the shit they’ll claim.

bloviator on June 5, 2013 at 6:24 AM

I’m now beginning to wonder if there might not be an acceptable use of domestic drone surveillance, i.e. looking for disability fraud. If we’re not going to do away with the notion of paying someone for ‘disability’ altogether then we need to put more resources into auditing disability claimants to prevent excessive freeloading.

mdavt on June 5, 2013 at 8:21 AM

It’s not just the USPS…my wife’s cousin worked for law enforcement in Maryland until she was “injured”. At the age of 30 she began on full disability pay while teaching Tiekwando. There is absolutely nothing wrong with her that would prevent her from working. Taxpayers are being milked by the public unions.

trs on June 5, 2013 at 8:34 AM

No doubt she voted for Obowma, twice…

Seven Percent Solution on June 4, 2013 at 10:18 PM

Twice each election, maybe.

GWB on June 5, 2013 at 9:27 AM

When you combine the canonization of professional victims, an entitlement mentality and a corrupt administration, this is what you get.

natasha333 on June 5, 2013 at 10:03 AM

Tip.Of.The.Iceberg. – CW on June 4, 2013 at 10:16 PM

How very true. The corruption/featherbedding within federal, state and local governments is totally out of control. We need smaller government more efficient government on all levels. That is what the Tea Party movement is all about.

SC.Charlie on June 5, 2013 at 10:06 AM

A shoulder injury that lasted for 5 years and there wasn’t ANYTHING else she could have done at the Post Office? Public union trash.

Bishop on June 4, 2013 at 10:06 PM

-
This is the way of the disability gravy-train… No attempt to retrain is required… and NEVER, EVER… get a job doing anything = Permanent disability.

RalphyBoy on June 5, 2013 at 11:16 AM

All thats left to say here is this.

BobMbx on June 5, 2013 at 11:35 AM

Yeah…but it’s too expensive and not worth it to try and reduce fraud… /lib

nextgen_repub on June 5, 2013 at 12:11 PM

No doubt she voted for Obowma, twice…

… No doubt.

Was that voted once for him both times or voted twice each time?
It seems a fair question to ask.

PalmettoPatriot on June 5, 2013 at 12:28 PM

Ms. Cashwell should, in the ideal world of justice, have to forego the amount she fraudently received when it comes time for her to draw Social Security and should additionally be barred from any future federal worker’s comp awards.
Hitting her Social Secuirty would be a means of restitution that otherwise will never occur, unless she’s not too hurt to play the lottery.

PalmettoPatriot on June 5, 2013 at 12:32 PM

Hey, McDogduty, Your pal Teddy’s calling you to join him.

S. D. on June 5, 2013 at 8:16 PM

You guys have a problem with your comment sections jumping from one post to another.

S. D. on June 5, 2013 at 8:19 PM

Well I suppose we’ve made someone in the gubmint mad now – seems that someone is moving your comments around to the wrong threads.

ghostwalker1 on June 6, 2013 at 12:06 AM

Um, I’m seeing ‘Price Is Right’ comments in this Martin Bashir thread. lol

Midas on June 6, 2013 at 12:06 AM

Well, I posted in the Bashir thread, but comment and now me are both in the Price is Right thread from the 5th.

Midas on June 6, 2013 at 12:07 AM