Tallahassee, Florida- August 29, 2012
A former postal worker was sentenced today in federal court.
The 26-year veteran had been convicted of fraud after she was caught running marathons while receiving workers' compensation benefits.
Jacquelyn Myers' attorney said the postal service should've confronted Myers if they knew she was running marathons while on light duty at work. The judge said he understood that the government had to build its case but, agreed that probation was appropriate.
A federal judge says just because someone can do this, it doesn't mean they should do this. However, the judge says he had to base his sentencing on the jury's findings and in May, 2012 a jury found 55-year-old Jacquelyn Myers guilty of healthcare fraud and making false statements to get workers' compensation.
August 29th the judge sentenced her to three years probation.
Said Mike Teeto, a Tallahassee resident: "She definitely doesn't belong in prison or anything serious. I think America takes that a little too far. But, I think she needs probation for sure."
Prosecutors say Myers claimed she was physically unable to do her job as a mail carrier with the U.S. Postal Service because of a 2009 back injury yet, she competed in more than 80 athletic events even running the Boston Marathon and winning the title of top athlete in her age group in all of Georgia.
"Definitely not something that I would be happy about, thinking 'Oh she's getting away with that kind of thing'. I'm kind of glad she got sentenced because honestly, that's wrong," said Helen McCulloch, a Tallahassee resident.
"I think it's cheating America and people that need it more."
Myers' attorney denied prosecutors' claims that the marathon runner misled doctors and her employers just to be put on light duty and have Saturdays off.
Myers' attorney said Myers did tell her physical therapist that she was running races while on disability. The judge said that the postal service should've sat down with Myers and asked what her physical capabilities were.
The judge ordered Myers to pay restitution of $26,714 plus $400 special assessment.
Tallahassee, Florida- August 29, 2012- Noon
Myers has been sentenced to three years probation. She is also ordered to pay restitution of $26,714 plus $400 special assessment.
The judge says Myers must begin her payments within 60 days.
Myers has the right to appeal within 14 days.
Tallahassee, Florida- May 16, 2012
Former postal employee, Jacquelyn V. Myers, 55, of Tallahassee, Florida, was found guilty by a federal jury yesterday of healthcare fraud and making false statements to obtain workers’ compensation benefits.
Evidence presented at the two-day jury trial established that, while claiming she was physically unable to fulfill her responsibilities as a rural letter carrier with the Postal Service, Myers competed in more than 80 athletic events in Florida and Georgia. Although she claimed that she could only handle “light duty” in her government job, Myers was competing in 5K races, 10K races, triathlons, and marathons, including the Boston Marathon, which she ran in April 2010.
In May 2009, Myers reported that she had suffered a lower back injury during the annual letter carriers’ food drive. As a result, she was relieved of the letter carrying duties for which she had been hired, and placed on “light duty.” Between June and December of 2009, Myers told her treating physicians and physical therapists that her back injury had not improved, and that she was unable to twist and bend at the waist – activities associated with the delivery of mail. Photographs and videotapes taken during the same period show Myers running barefoot on gravel in a cross-country event, and swimming, cycling, and running in a triathlon. Evidence at trial demonstrated that Myers’ race times actually improved over those recorded prior to her reported date of injury.
The defendant faces maximum sentences of five years in prison for false statements and ten years in prison for healthcare fraud. Sentencing has been scheduled for July 25, 2012, at 11:00 a.m., before United States District Judge Robert L. Hinkle.
Pamela C. Marsh, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Florida, praised the work of the United States Postal Service, Office of Inspector General, whose investigation led to the convictions.
The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jason Coody.