Lake Tahoe man indicted on federal fraud charges
December 6, 2012
A South Lake Tahoe man has been indicted on 11 counts of federal workers’ compensation fraud, according to federal prosecutors.
U.S. Attorney Benjamin Wagner announced the federal grand jury indictment against Mark Leung, 58, in a Thursday press release. Charges against the former U.S. Postal Service employee include wire fraud, mail fraud and making a false statement to obtain federal workers’ compensation.
When reached at a listed phone number Thursday, Leung was unaware of the indictment.
“I didn’t defraud the government,” Leung said. “I didn’t do anything to defraud the government.”
The indictment alleges Leung worked for the Postal Service until 1987, when he claimed to have sustained a work-related injury, according to the release. He never returned to full-time employment with the mail delivery service.
Prosecutors then say Leung received approximately $160,000 in workers’ compensation from the U.S. Department of Labor from September 2007 through November 2012.
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“To obtain the benefits, Leung submitted an annual certification form and also had his medical providers attest that he could not perform any work due to the pain he suffered that limited his mobility and range of movement,” according to the release.
“In fact, as alleged in the indictment, Leung was not so disabled. Among other things, while claiming he was totally disabled from employment, Leung maintained a yearly ski pass for Heavenly Ski Resort in Lake Tahoe where he regularly skied for at least 40 days per ski season,” the release continues. “Moreover, Leung was as also observed performing arduous physical labor on numerous days.”
On Thursday, Leung said skiing is the only exercise he can get after injuring his back, where he has three collapsed disks. He said he can only ski for limited periods of time before requiring ice and traction.
“The MRI scan does not lie,” Leung said.
The case is the result of an investigation by the Postal Service, the Office of Inspector General and the Department of Labor.
Leung faces a maximum of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine if convicted.