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Morris County Postal Worker Charged wth Disability Benefits Fraud and Making False Statement

October 11, 2023

READ FULL ARTICLE AT » United States Department of Justice

NEWARK, N.J. – A Morris County woman charged with fraud and making false statements will make her initial court appearance today, U.S. Attorney Philip R. Sellinger announced.

Pamela VanSyckle, 60, of Oak Ridge, is charged by complaint with one count of federal employee compensation fraud and one count of making false statements. VanSyckle made her initial appearance this afternoon before U.S Magistrate Judge José R. Almonte in Newark federal court and was released on $100,000 unsecured bond.

According to documents filed in this case:

VanSyckle works for the U.S. Postal Service as a rural carrier. In September 2020, VanSyckle signed and filed a claim form alleging that she sustained an injury at work. As a result of that injury, VanSyckle claimed that she was unable to carry out her duties as a mail carrier. While she received disability benefits from September 2020 to September 2023, VanSyckle signed and filed multiple federal claim forms alleging that she had not worked or had outside employment. Based on the submission of those claims, VanSyckle received over $155,000 in disability benefits from the federal government.

During the time in which she received disability benefits, however, VanSyckle was in fact working as the owner and operator of a travel agency. While claiming that she was neither self-employed nor involved in any business enterprise, VanSyckle performed a variety of services for the travel agency including handling sales, marketing and financial operations.

The fraud and false statement charges each carry a maximum potential sentence of five years in prison and a maximum of $250,000 or twice the gross amount of any pecuniary gain that any persons derived from the offense, whichever is greater.

U.S. Attorney Sellinger credited special agents of the U.S. Postal Service – Office of Inspector General, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Matthew Modaferri; special agents of the U.S. Department of Labor – Office of Inspector General, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Jonathan Mellone; and members of the Jefferson Township Police Department, under the direction of Chief Paul Castimore, with the investigation leading to the charges.

The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Thomas S. Kearney of the U.S. Attorney’s Office Special Prosecutions Division in Newark.

The charges and allegations contained in the complaint are merely accusations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

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