York Springs, PA (WorkersCompensation.com) - The U.S. Attorney's Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania announced that a criminal information was filed in U.S. District Court in Harrisburg yesterday charging Robert M. Fowler, 60, of York Springs, Pennsylvania, with workers' compensation fraud involving $24,934.68 of benefits he was not entitled to receive. If convicted, Fowler faces up to five years' imprisonment, $250,000 in fines and restitution. A plea agreement was also filed indicating that Fowler intends to plead guilty when he appears for his arraignment in federal court. The plea agreement is subject to approval by the Court
According to U.S. Attorney Peter Smith, Fowler allegedly sustained an on-the-job injury in 1999 while working at the Defense Industrial Plant Equipment Center in Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania, and began receiving federal workers' compensation benefits from the Office of Workers' Compensation Programs (OWCP) shortly thereafter. Recipients of these benefits are required to submit forms to OWCP on a periodic basis to insure they are still eligible to receive the benefits.
The criminal charge filed today allegedly indicates that Fowler lied on several forms he submitted to OWCP because he falsely claimed he was not incarcerated during the prior 15 months for a felony and was residing with his wife. In fact, Fowler was in the Adams County Jail between September 2012 and July 2013 and had not resided with his wife between October 2010 and March 2014. As a result of the false statements, OWCP paid Fowler $24,934.18 which he was not entitled to receive.
The case was investigated by the U.S. Department of Labor, Office of Inspector General, and is assigned to Senior Litigation Counsel Bruce Brandler for prosecution.
Indictments and Criminal Informations are only allegations. All persons charged are presumed to be innocent unless and until found guilty in court.
A sentence following a finding of guilty is imposed by the Judge after consideration of the applicable federal sentencing statutes and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines.
Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the Judge is also required to consider and weigh a number of factors, including the nature, circumstances and seriousness of the offense; the history and characteristics of the defendant; and the need to punish the defendant, protect the public and provide for the defendant's educational, vocational and medical needs. For these reasons, the statutory maximum penalty for the offense is not an accurate indicator of the potential sentence for a specific defendant.