A Trinity, Fla., man has been sentenced to five years’ probation, with the first six months to be served on home detention, for making a false statement in connection with his workers’ compensation benefits.
As part of the sentence issued by U.S. District Judge James D. Whittemore to Gary W. Rochevot, the court ordered Rochevot to pay $123,434.89 in restitution. He pleaded guilty on March 23, 2018.
According to court documents, Rochevot was placed on the United States Department of Labor’s Office of Worker’s Compensation Program’s (OWCP) long-term periodic role in February 2005 due to a 2004 work-related injury at the Orlando International Airport.
Thereafter, he received a tax-free payment from the OWCP of approximately $5,500 per month. As a benefit recipient, Rochevot was required to complete and submit an OWCP CA-Form 1032 annually. The Department of Labor uses this form to determine whether an individual is entitled to receive OWCP benefits and/or whether such benefits should be adjusted. The form includes a specific warning that a false or evasive answer to any question, or the omission of an answer, could be grounds for forfeiting the compensation benefits and could subject the individual to civil liability. The warning language also specifically notes that a fraudulent answer could, among other consequences, result in criminal prosecution.
In September 2016, Rochevot completed and submitted the annual CA-Form 1032 as required. In response to one of the form’s questions concerning volunteer work, he answered that he had not performed any volunteer work during the previous 15 months. That material answer was false, because Rochevot had previously worked as a volunteer cart driver/greeter for a large hospital, where he had routinely worked one day per week, including during September 2016.
In addition, federal agents observed Rochevot engaging in routine physical activity throughout 2016, including yardwork, automobile maintenance, house maintenance and routine errands, some of which involved heavy lifting.
In October 2016, shortly after submitting the false CA-Form 1032, Rochevot also provided false answers to direct questions concerning his health status during a telephone call with a federal agent.
This case was investigated by the Transportation Security Administration Investigations. It was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Jay G. Trezevant.
Source: United States Department of Justice
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