03/07/12 — Duplin man gets five years probation for workers compensation fraud

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Duplin man gets five years probation for workers compensation fraud

By From staff reports
Published in News on March 7, 2012 1:46 PM

Michael Lee Lanier, 57, of Beulaville was sentenced in federal court last week to five years of probation on charges that he made false and fraudulent statements in his application for receipt of Federal Employment Workers Compensation benefits.

The sentence includes six months of home detention with electronic monitoring, and payment of $30,000 restitution to the Department of Labor Office of Workers Compensation Programs.

Lainer, a former civilian employee of Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, pleaded guilty to the charges in October.

According to the indictment, beginning in 2006, and continuing through June 2010, Lainer submitted materially false information that he was not working for an employer, was self-employed, involved in a business enterprise, or performing volunteer work. However, according to court records, Lanier had been working as a sales person, property manager and delivery driver for two local pharmacies, a sales representative and manager in a used car sales business, and a vehicle dismantler and general worker in a vehicle scrapping business.

The Office of Workers Compensation Programs operates programs providing monetary compensation, medical benefits, and other benefits and assistance to federal civilian employees who sustain an on-the-job or work-related injury or illness. The Federal Employees Compensation Act provides these benefits for eligible employees.

The office provides medical benefits for eligible employees and also compensates them with a monthly tax-exempt payment. It also determines the amount of payment based on the number of the employee's dependents and the extent of the employee's injury or illness.

Recipients certify whether they participated in any type of employment, self-employment, or employment-related activities during the previous 15 months. Office of Workers Compensation Programs also sends various forms to recipients requiring the recipient to confirm any change in status. For example, recipients must report if they return to their work. The recipient must answer all of the questions and certify under penalty of law that the information submitted is true, correct and complete.