Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Former Bronx postal worker gets six months in jail for stealing $200,000 in workers comp scheme

Neither snow nor rain nor gloom of night stayed one thieving postal worker from her appointed rounds ... aboard two cruise ships.

Ex-U.S. Postal Service employee Maria Chmielewski will serve six months in jail after looting nearly $200,000 in workers’ comp benefits with bogus claims of agoraphobia and panic attacks, authorities said Friday.

The 40-year-old Bronx woman was nabbed after taking a pair of holiday cruises to Alaska and Canada while illegally pocketing the monthly checks.

“The defendant claimed to be a ‘prisoner in 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. “We will not tolerate rip-offs of government benefits."

Chmielewski was arrested in June 2014 following an investigation that also showed she had completed a 10-month practical nursing program and was spotted behind the wheel of her car while “sick.”

She was convicted last month of grand larceny and insurance fraud. In addition to the jail time imposed Thursday, Chmielewski will serve five years of probation and repay $192,227.93.
The crooked federal employee, who joined the Postal Service in 2004 at the Woodlawn Station, began collecting 75% percent of her salary tax free in August 2008.
She also received regular cost of living increases, officials said.

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