A former U.S. Postal Service worker from Essex County admitted Monday that she pocketed unreported income -- and traveled to France and Africa -- while collecting $686,588 in workers compensation payments for an on-the-job slip and fall that she claimed disabled her, federal authorities said.
Janeide Chillis, 53, of Irvington, pleaded guilty during a teleconference in exchange for leniency at a scheduled Sept. 10 sentencing on fraud and making false statements charges.
Chillis began receiving workers compensation benefits from the U.S. Department of Labor after reporting that she'd been injured in 2006 while working for the postal service, U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito said.
Chillis "periodically submitted additional forms certifying that she was unemployed and would report any income or other information that affected her receipt of benefits" over the next several years, he said.
However, beginning in 2011, Chillis "earned extra income and travelled extensively, including to Africa and France, all of which she did not report to the U.S. Department of Labor," Carpenito said.
Chillis also received reimbursement payments from the government for home health aide services beginning in 2011 and continuing until recently, even though she'd stopped receiving the services in 2013, the U.S. attorney added.
All told, Chillis received $686,588 in federal benefits from the fraud, he said.
Carpenito credited special agents of the U.S. Postal Service Office of Inspector General, the U.S. Department of Labor Office of Inspector General New York Region, the Social Security Administration Office of Inspector General and special agents of IRS-Criminal Investigation with the investigation leading to Monday's plea, secured by Assistant U.S. Attorney Joshua L. Haber of the Health Care Fraud Unit in his Criminal Division.
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