PA: Lure of Easy Money Allegedly Encouraged Corrections Officer Charged with Fraud

23 Oct, 2018 Liz Carey


Doyleston, PA ( – A former Bucks County corrections officer said he wasn’t lying when he claimed he wasn’t working, because the fishing expeditions he took people on didn’t make him any money.

According to the Bucks County Local News, Carl Wayne Stokes, 51, of Bridgeton Township, was charged with workers’ compensation fraud, theft and unsworn falsification after detectives claimed he accepted money for taking them on a guided fishing trip over the summer.

Stokes began receiving workers’ compensation benefits after an alleged fight with an inmate in November 2017. According to the Bucks County District Attorney’s office, Stokes filed paperwork in May indicating that he was not able to return to work, citing a doctor who recommended “permanent restrictions.”

At the time, Stokes reported that he had not been employed since receiving benefits. Authorities allege that since filing for benefits, he has received more than $20,000 in workers’ compensation payments for lost wages.

But during the summer, Bucks County detectives found a Facebook post for “Reel River Adventures” with Stokes’ picture where he called himself, “Captain Catfish.”

Detectives booked a charter with Stokes and paid him for the half-day guided tour on the Susquehanna River. During that time, detectives said, Stokes moved about the boat, fished and assisted in retrieving detectives’ lures by leaning over the boat.

According to the affidavit, Stokes told detectives he had been employed by the Bucks County Sheriff’s Office and that he was out of work and receiving workers’ compensation benefits for an injury he sustained in 2015.

When confronted by investigators with the district attorney’s office in July, Stokes said he reported he was unemployed because he wasn’t making money on the trips. Stokes told investigators the money he received paid for gas and equipment. The investigation found that Stokes had a workers’ compensation claim in the past that had been suspended when it was discovered pictures on Facebook showed him doing what he said he medically could not.

A representative with Bucks County’s Sheriff’s Office said in an interview with that Stokes had never worked for the Sheriff’s Office, but had worked for the Corrections Office — a separate entity from the Sheriff’s Office. 

Larry King, the public information officer for Bucks County, referred calls from to Jim O’Malley with the district attorney’s office. O’Malley did not return calls for comment by press time. 

The case was referred to the district attorney’s office by the Bucks County Controller’s Office. 

“Upon my election in 2017, as controller of Bucks County, I took on the responsibility, as the taxpayers’ fiscal watchdog, to root out fraud and corruption,” said Bucks County Controller Neale Dougherty. “I pledged to protect the taxpayers who work hard for their money, and I will continue to look for instances where they are not receiving value for their tax dollars.” 

District Judge Gary Gabardella set Stokes’ bail at $100,000 and scheduled a preliminary hearing for Oct. 29.

“He was a corrections officer. He was supervising individuals accused of, and convicted of committing crimes and here he was committing his own series of crimes,” said Marc Furber with the Bucks County District Attorney’s Office.


  • AI arizona artificial intelligence case law case management claims communication compensability compliance conferences courts covid do you know the rule dr. claire muselman exclusivity florida FMLA glossary check Healthcare heat how the court ruled iowa judge david langham leadership medical medicare missouri NCCI new jersey new york ohio opioids osha Safety telehealth texas violence WDYT west virginia what do you think workers' comp 101 workers' recovery workers' compensation contact information Workplace Safety Workplace Violence

  • Read Also

    About The Author

    • Liz Carey

      Liz Carey has worked as a writer, reporter and editor for nearly 25 years. First, as an investigative reporter for Gannett and later as the Vice President of a local Chamber of Commerce, Carey has covered everything from local government to the statehouse to the aerospace industry. Her work as a reporter, as well as her work in the community, have led her to become an advocate for the working poor, as well as the small business owner.

    Read More

    Request a Demo

    To request a free demo of one of our products, please fill in this form. Our sales team will get back to you shortly.