NEW YORK – A woman who faked panic attacks to collect workers’ compensation has been sentenced to six months behind bars, CBS New York reported.
M. Chmielewski, an employee of the United States Postal Service, has been found guilty of bilking the workers’ compensation system out of nearly $200,000. She has been sentenced to six months behind bars and she has to pay retribution.
According to prosecutors, Chmielewski claimed that she couldn’t work because she was too panicked to leave her house.
“The defendant claimed to be a ‘prisoner of her own home’ to defraud the government of tax-free benefits meant to help those truly unable to work,” said Bronx District Attorney Darcel Clark.
Clark said that now she will have to serve time in jail. “We will not tolerate rip-offs of government benefits,” said Clark.
Chmielewski began her career has a postal worker in 2004. Since 2008, she received workers’ compensation for various anxiety-related disorders, including post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), panic disorder and agoraphobia, which occurs when someone avoids going to ordinary places out of fear of having a panic attack.
While collecting benefits, Chmielewski was receiving 75% of her salary for the above panic-related disorders. A closer look into her life revealed that during the time she was receiving workers’ compensation, she was driving, she completed a nurse training program, and she took a cruise to Alaska and one to Canada.
The authorities finally caught up with her in 2014, when she was arrested. Later, she was found guilty of insurance fraud and grand larceny, CBS New York reported.
NEW YORK WORKERS’ COMPENSATION ATTORNEYS
Have you been injured on the job or are you suffering from an occupational disease? If so, you should file a workers’ compensation claim sooner than later. For the professional advice and representation you need, contact Katz, Leidman, Freund & Herman!
Call (888) 250-5427 for a free case evaluation.