Greenbelt, Maryland – Ronald S. Repass, age 57, of Poolesville, Maryland, pleaded guilty today to the federal charge of making false statements or fraud to obtain federal employees’ disability compensation. Repass admitted that he falsely claimed that he was unable to work, even though he had worked at various jobs between June 2016 and February 2019, for which he was paid.
The guilty plea was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Robert K. Hur; Special Agent in Charge Imari R. Niles of the U.S. Postal Service, Office of Inspector General (OIG); and Special Agent in Charge Derek Pickle, of the Washington Regional Office, U.S. Department of Labor – Office of Inspector General (OIG).
As stated in the indictment, the Department of Labor’s Office of Worker’s Compensation Programs (“OWCP”) administered major disability compensation programs which provided wage loss benefits, medical treatment, vocational rehabilitation, and other benefits for federal government employees who became disabled during the performance of their duties.
According to the indictment, beginning in October 1989, Repass was employed by the U.S. Postal Service at the Poolesville Post Office in Montgomery County, Maryland. Repass was a rural carrier on December 5, 2014, when he filed a workers’ compensation claim after he fell and hurt his right shoulder. OWCP granted his claim on February 11, 2015, for a “right rotator cuff tear” based on a finding that Repass was not able to perform any of the routine duties of his job. Repass began receiving benefits of approximately $3,227 per month on February 22, 2015.
The Department of Labor required disabled employees to annually sign and complete a form certifying that they had not worked for the past 15 months. The disabled employees were also required to immediately report any improvement in their medical condition or any part-time or full-time employment. In 2016, 2017, and 2018, Repass signed and submitted the form stating that he had not worked for any employer, nor was he self-employed or involved in a business enterprise, despite that fact that during those years Repass worked part-time as a snow plow driver, as a service advisor at an automotive repair shop, as a field supervisor for a home improvement company, as a plumber, and he installed window blinds and mowed lawns, all in exchange for compensation.
As a result of his false representations, the government contends that Repass received as much as $62,690.44 in Worker’s Compensation payments that he was not entitled to receive.
Repass faces a maximum sentence of five years for false statements or fraud to obtain federal employees’ compensation. Actual sentences for federal crimes are typically less than the maximum penalties. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after taking into account the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors. U.S. District Judge Paula Xinis has scheduled sentencing for March 29, 2021, at 9:00 a.m.
United States Attorney Robert K. Hur commended the U.S. Postal Service OIG and U.S. Department of Labor OIG for their work in the investigation. Mr. Hur thanked Assistant U.S. Attorney Hollis R. Weisman, who is prosecuting the case.