Topics: Social Media

Fake-handicap fraudsters foiled by reality TV appearances, LinkedIn spam

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Watchdog,Treasury,Waste and Fraud,Luke Rosiak,Accountability,Television,Social Media,Workplace Safety

America relied on him to protect the U.S. Mint, but if the head of a federal police union can be believed, standing in the cold for a day to witness the inauguration of President Obama helped damage his knee so badly that he had to begin drawing a disability check.

That supposed disability wasn't severe enough to interfere with dreams of reality TV stardom, though: He soon appeared on national TV dancing, twirling and bending for a skills segment.

Federal police for the Treasury Department are charged with enforcing the law and protecting the millions of dollars of cash that are printed at U.S. Mint facilities, but sworn officers were instead caught engaging in criminal activity and lying about it.

Numerous officers appeared to live a life of crime in Prince George’s County, Md., where one told colleagues that he had sex with a 13-year-old girl.

Another called in sick from work and was found at a closed-down strip club called Ebony, with condoms in his pocket, by local police conducting a prostitution sweep at what they called a sex club, where they "observed individuals engaged in sexual intercourse upon making entry."

The officer, whose testimony in court cases is relied on to help send others to jail, said he thought he was at a birthday party after receiving an invitation from a friend whose name he did not know, and that was unaware that another “friend” named Stormy was a well-known prostitute.

As for the reality TV star, he is drawing 40 percent of his top salary under “disability retirement,” but those benefits would have to stop if he were no longer disabled.

He’d been cut off by another workers compensation program after a doctor concluded that any knee problems were “not related” to on-duty incidents, but rather to an unrelated car accident.

But that finding didn’t appear to preclude him from disability retirement.

On top of drawing the disability pay, he is now working as a delivery man and “attempt[ing] to become a hairdresser.”

In his spare time, he practices Color Guard drills like the one that earned him a spot on TV "stepping sideways and rotating. He then lies on the floor as he continues to spin the flag. At one point he drops the rifle and bends to pick it up."

All of these cases were among a slew of investigations by the Treasury Department's Inspector General and were obtained by GovernmentAttic.org under the Freedom of Information Act.

The documents also recount the tale of a North Carolina-based Bureau of Engraving and Printing information technology specialist who appeared to be foiled by LinkedIn auto-spam after colleagues received an email invitation to “connect” that listed him as working for another company, and using his government-issued BlackBerry as that company's phone number.

Working a second job while on the clock for the government would have been possible because the IT guy claimed he had “a medical condition that prevented him from working in BEP office space.”

After allowing him to work from home for a time, managers instructed him to work from a D.C. office that could accommodate his supposed medical condition, but he never moved to D.C.

When a colleague showed up unexpectedly at that D.C. office space one day, the North Carolina resident was not at his desk.

When the colleague called his BlackBerry, he first said he was in the bathroom at the office, and then said that he had to urgently go back to North Carolina because his daughter was ill.

Video, sign-in logs and keycard access records didn’t show him arriving. He said he could not recall the name of the hotel he stayed at during the week so he could work in D.C.

Voluminous documents pertaining to his private business were found on his government-provided laptop, but he claimed that was “for the benefit of the BEP” and that the LinkedIn information was outdated and he no longer ran that company.

IG investigators seemed to have limited their probe to the one day that the colleague stopped in, and the employee soon transferred to a position as a human resource specialist at Treasury, tasked with enforcing rules about time and attendance fraud.

Perhaps that shouldn’t be surprising, because another Treasury human resources specialist accepted a job and began working for a government contractor while she was out on medical leave with Treasury.

As a contracting officer, she had awarded work to that same company. She then submitted paperwork to retire from the government, drawing retirement benefits while working for the contractor.

When colleagues cleaned out her desk, they found the employment papers. But the U.S. Attorney declined to prosecute, and there was little recourse that could be taken against the retiree.

Another employee who works in facilities that print money said an injured back meant she could only sit for 15 minutes at a time, so the government happily paid her for at least eight years to come in to work each day, where she would walk around taking personal cell phone calls.

But she openly told colleagues that she regularly sat for long drives to casinos in other states, where she would sit for hours more.

Despite doing little during a normal shift, the employee lodged an Equal Employment Opportunity case against managers for not paying her overtime.

Managers said “she should not be paid for four hours of overtime, plus night differential and only work 60 minutes of the time.”

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