BEAUMONT, Texas – A 46-year-old Dayton, Texas man has pleaded guilty to federal violations in the Eastern District of Texas, announced U.S. Attorney John M. Bales today.
Bert Carrol Rainey pleaded guilty to an Information charging him with fraud to obtain workers compensation benefits today before U.S. Magistrate Judge Keith Giblin.
According to information presented in court, Rainey, a Transportation Security Agency (TSA) supervisor at Houston Hobby airport, had been declared totally disabled from a work related accident in 2004 and been placed on the disability rolls on April 22, 2010. The disability status entitled Rainey to approximately 75% of his salary without working. Prior to his being declared totally disabled Rainey performed light duties or did not work, receiving partial pay for some periods and unpaid leave for several years. An investigation revealed that Rainey had the ability to perform his tasks at work and that Rainey had misled several physicians who examined him in 2009 and 2010 on a routine basis to evaluate his ability to return to work. Rainey admitted misleading physicians that he could not sit or walk for more than thirty minutes or lift more than ten pounds. Surveillance of Rainey at his home revealed him engaging in numerous physical activities inconsistent with his medical evaluations, including doing home construction projects, lawn maintenance, and operating machinery for long periods of time. The information to which Rainey pleaded guilty was the receipt of a reduced monthly partial payment while not working. As part of his plea Rainey agreed to resign his position and to forfeit the receipt of any further monthly payments which over his lifetime would have amounted to approximately $2,000,000.
Rainey faces up to one year in federal prison at sentencing. A sentencing date has not been set.
This case is being investigated by the TSA-OIG and the Department of Labor – Office of Workers’ Compensation Programs and prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert L. Rawls.