WESTFIELD, NJ — A mail carrier who worked at the Westfield Post Office bilked the government out of more than $10,000 in federal workers’ compensation benefits to which she was not entitled, authorities said.
Federal authorities charged Aida Perez, 42, of Roselle Park, with making fraudulent representations in connection with her application for and receipt of federal workers’ compensation benefits, acting U.S. Attorney Rachael A. Honig said in a news release Wednesday.
The criminal complaint filed in the case alleges that by lying on government forms, Perez received the workers’ compensation benefits, while at the same time selling “orders totaling thousands of dollars” on Etsy and certifying that she did not receive other earnings.
The $10,000 in benefits Perez allegedly collected includes both payments made by the labor department and payments from the postal service, the complaint says.
“Based on a review of records provided by a financial institution, law enforcement confirmed that Perez’s bank account received thousands of dollars in Deposits from ‘Etsy Inc.,’” the complaint says.
Perez had signed and certified a form in which she alleged she sustained an ankle sprain on Nov. 9, 2020, while at work, authorities said. In subsequent forms, Perez certified that she did not receive earnings from employment outside her federal job, authorities said.
The complaint says that an undercover officer contacted Perez on April 26 to discuss the potential purchase of goods and during that call she told the officer that she “took advantage” and is “growing [her] little small business.”
On May 14, the officer purchased $245 worth of party favors and other goods from her business, the complaint says.
Perez appeared by video conference before U.S. Magistrate Judge Mark Falk Wednesday and was released on bail, Honig said.
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