The $ 46,000 fine charged against a U.S. postal worker convicted of lying about her workers' compensation-related travel was confirmed by an appeals court Thursday.
In United States v. Coffman, 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans unanimously upheld a jury decision convicting the worker of making false statements to obtain federal workers' compensation benefits and theft of public money.
Lisa Yvette Coffman of Humble, Texas, worked as a postman when she claimed she injured her back in 2011 when she lifted a package and applied for and received compensation for workers, which included compensation for travel to and from her doctor's appointments.
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For a period of 122 days in 2016, she requested compensation for 327 meetings; her submission on a given day stated that she drove nearly 400 miles to visit five different doctors.
In October 2016, Ms. Coffman was accused of making false statements to obtain federal workers' compensation benefits and theft of public money. She was found guilty and sentenced to five years in prison and ordered to pay $ 46,000 in repayment. She appealed and argued that the jury was prejudiced by unauthorized testimony.
Coffman claimed that the testimonies of a doctor who claimed that the workers' compensation applicants were not "the most honest people" unfairly harmed the jury. The Court of Appeal disagreed and found that the comment was not harmful and did not affect the outcome of the proceedings.