NEWARK, N.J. – A Union County, New Jersey, U.S. Postal Service (USPS) mail carrier made her initial court appearance today on charges of making false statements to obtain federal workers’ compensation benefits, Acting U.S. Attorney Rachael A. Honig announced.
Aida Perez, 42, of Roselle Park, New Jersey, is charged by complaint with one count of knowingly and willfully falsifying, concealing, and covering up a material fact, and making a false, fictitious, and fraudulent statement and representation in connection with the application for and receipt of federal workers’ compensation benefits. Perez made her initial appearance today by videoconference before U.S. Magistrate Judge Mark Falk and was released on bail.
According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:
Perez worked as a mail carrier for the USPS in Westfield, New Jersey. On Nov. 18, 2020, Perez signed and certified a form in which she alleged she sustained an ankle sprain on Nov. 9, 2020, while performing her duties. In subsequent forms, Perez certified that she did not receive earnings from employment outside of her federal job. However, an investigation revealed that Perez operated a business from which she received substantial income. For example, during the investigation, an undercover law enforcement officer purchased $245 in goods from Perez’s business.
The count of making false statements to obtain federal workers’ compensation benefits carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
Acting U.S. Attorney Honig credited members of the USPS – Office of Inspector General, Northeast Area Field Office, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Matthew Modafferi, with the investigation leading to the charges.
The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Mark J. Pesce of the U.S. Attorney’s Office’s OCDETF/Narcotics Unit in Newark.
The charge and allegations contained in the complaint are merely accusations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.