Ocala, FL (WorkersCompensation.com) – A former postal worker has been ordered to pay back more than $112,000 in disability benefits instead of serving jail time, a judge in Florida’s US District Court has said.
Susan Gissy will have to pay the federal government $112,612.64 Judge Roy B. Dalton said because she lied about her medical condition in order to collect the benefits.
According to court records, Gissy was employed as a mail carrier for the US Postal Service when she injured her back in a work-related injury. According to the disability claim that she filed in 2011, the injury “limited both her daily activities and lifestyle.”
Federal agents with the USPS Office of the Inspector General suspected Gissy wasn’t being truthful and began an undercover operation surveilling her.
The surveillance included a fictitious survey, where Gissey said she enjoyed shopping, boating, cycling, dancing and weight lifting on a weekly basis, as well as travelling to the Caribbean and “staying 11 or more nights.” In other surveillance, agents caught Gissy scuba diving, boating and riding 40-foot-waterslides.
When agents questioned Gissy, she said her back “was not getting better and (she) could not stand or sit for too long without experiencing significant pain.” When asked if she thought she could return to work, agents alleged Gissy said “what kind of a job includes a cot?”
Gissy was arrested in December 2016, and tried in December 2017 on one count of theft of government funds, and two counts of making false statements to obtain federal employees’ compensation. Jurors found Gissy guilty of all three charges.
Gissy faced up to 10 years in prison on a charge of theft, and another up to 10 years on 2 charges of making false statements to obtain federal employee’s compensation.
Judge Dalton ignored the recommended punishment for Gissy of between 15 and 21 months in federal prison, instead sentencing her to three years’ probation, 100 hours of community service and 30 days at the Brevard County work camp.
US Attorney spokesman William Daniels, in an interview with WorkersCompensation.com, said the office had no comment on the sentence.