NH: Former USPS Worker Pleads Guilty to Selling Comics While Claiming He Was too Injured to Work


Concord, NH (WorkersCompensation.com) – U.S. Attorney Scott W. Murray has announced that Kenneth Dunn of Nashua pleaded guilty to making false statements to obtain federal employee disability benefits.

According to court documents and statements, Dunn who had been working as a United States Postal Service (USPS) letter carrier since 1985, started receiving disability benefits in 2010. This was due to injuries to his arm, neck, and back while he had been working. While Dunn received the work comp benefits, he continued to report that he was could not work at all, and was not engaged in any activity whatsoever.

However, for five years (stemming from 2010), Dunn conducted thousands of transactions that deal with the purchases and sales of comic books via the internet. Over this entire period, he had failed to report his business activity to the Office of Workers’ Compensation Programs (OWCP). 

The United States Department of Labor, OWCP, provides workers’ compensation benefits to all employees of the federal government, which also includes the USPS. These benefits are offered to all workers that are completely (or to some degree) disabled due to injuries that were sustained while on the job. The disabled employee, while receiving workers’ compensation benefits, must report any and all employment for which they are receiving payments to the OWCP.

In addition to reporting any new income, the disabled employee must also provide documentation from a doctor that demonstrates that they are still eligible for benefits and must report any improvements to their physical condition.

Dunn, on various occasions from October 2016 to February 2018, was spotted by a special agent from the USPS Office of Inspector General engaging in physical activities that did not coincide with the symptoms he reported and his alleged disability.

WorkersCompensation.com obtained a copy of Dunn’s plea agreement, which said that in September of 2016, a Special Agent for the USPS, Office of Inspector General (USPS-OIG) observed information on the internet that highly suggested that the defendant was involved in the selling of comic books from 2010-2017.

Also, through video surveillance on Sept. 17 and 18, for more than eight hours, the agent observed Dunn setting up a vendor booth at a Comicon event in Manchester, NH. He was caught bending over and picking up large boxes that were filled with comic books. He also stood and sat for long periods of time, and sold comic books. He then broke down displays at the end of the convention.

The agent also conducted video surveillance of the defendant for more than 70 additional days stemming from October 2016 to February 2018. On those dates, the agent observed Dunn executing many daily tasks. He was seen getting in and out of his car, walking up and down stairs, and running personal errands such as grocery shopping, and cleaning a substantial amount of snow off of his vehicle.

Plea documentation also shows that at no time during the video footage did Dunn have a cane or seem to be experiencing any discomfort, pain, or physical limitation.

Court documents also showed Dunn had lied in February 2017 and March 2018 about what he told a doctor regarding his physical conditions to receive his disability payments. The payments totaled to $87,736 from September 2016 to July 2018.

On March 12, 2018, Dunn was examined again by the same physician who examined him back in February. During the exam, he provided false information about his medical condition. As a result, the doctor reported Dunn to the OWCP, saying that his medical condition had not changed and the defendant continued to receive OWCP disability benefits fraudulently.

Special Agent-in-Charge Matt M. Modafferi told WorkersCompensation.com, “The U.S. Postal Service Office of Inspector General receives allegation information in many different ways. Some of the ways we receive information are from Postal Service employees, Postal Service customers, other law enforcement agencies, and from proactive research conducted by the Special Agents of the USPS OIG. If there is anyone who believes they are aware of a Postal Service employee who is committing workers’ compensation fraud, we ask that they contact us through our Hotline at 888-USPS-OIG or online at www.uspsoig.gov.”

He also says that as a result of Dunn pleading guilty to the Title 18 USC 1920 charge, he will be sentenced on Jan. 3, 2019 by the District Court. His charges are punishable for up to 5 years, and restitution could be requested by the court. 

Dean L. Blanco, Paralegal specialist and spokesperson for the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of New Hampshire told WorkersCompensation.com via email, “The defendant faces up to five years in prison, but the parties agree that a sentence of three years’ probation is appropriate.”

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