An Anchorage U.S. Postal Service worker has been indicted after allegedly collecting a third of a million dollars in federal worker’s compensation and disability payments since 2009, while fishing during summers.
According to a Friday statement from U.S. Attorney Karen Loeffler’s office, 56-year-old Amancio Zamora Agcaoili Jr. faces 18 counts handed down by a grand jury, as well as two forfeiture allegations. The charges include wire fraud, theft of government funds, Federal Employees’ Compensation Act fraud, and Social Security fraud.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Yvonne Lamoreaux, the prosecutor in the case, says the case stems from a lower back injury Agcaoili began receiving Social Security and worker's comp payments for in November 2001. She refused to comment on whether any of those payments are considered fraudulent, with the case at hand only covering payments since Feb. 12, 2009.
"He was arrested yesterday, he was arraigned today, and a continuance hearing is set for Tuesday," Lamoreaux said.
Prosecutors say Agcaoili collected at least $334,000 in payments since 2009, in what they call “a scheme to defraud the federal government about the nature and extent of his injury and about the other work he was performing and income he was receiving.”
Agcaoili allegedly did additional jobs, including preparing income tax returns and immigration forms, but lied on federal forms and said he hadn’t had other work in order to still qualify for payments.
“The indictment alleges that despite Agcaoili’s disability claims, Agcaoili went dipnetting and fishing on multiple occasions every summer between 2009 and 2013,” prosecutors wrote.
In the statement, Kevin Feldis, chief of the criminal division of Loeffler’s office, says prosecutors are committed to fighting cases of fraud against the federal government.
“Each time someone intentionally defrauds the United States in order to receive federal benefits, such as workers’ compensation and disability payments, it undermines the integrity of those federal programs, and harms all law-abiding citizens,” Feldis said.
Both the Department of Labor Office of Workers’ Compensation Program and the Social Security Administration Disability Insurance Benefits program were allegedly defrauded in the case. Loeffler’s office credits inspectors general at both the USPS and Social Security with jointly conducting the investigation.
Lamoreaux says that if convicted, Agcaoili would face prison time subject to federal sentencing guidelines. Those include maximum sentences of 20 years for each of 10 counts of wire fraud in the indictment, 10 years apiece for two counts of theft of government funds, and five years apiece for five counts of FECA fraud and one count of Social Security fraud.