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
“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.