Originally Published: March 24, 2017 6 a.m.
BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) — A former U.S. Postal Service worker in western New York has pleaded guilty to scamming the federal government out of more than $1.2 million in benefits.
The U.S. Attorney's Office says 59-year-old Richard Klaffka, of Holland, pleaded guilty Wednesday to wire fraud. Prosecutors say his 62-year-old wife, Cathleen, admitted to playing a role in the scheme.
Authorities say Richard Klaffka told Veterans Affairs in 2006 that he was disabled and needed to use a wheelchair because of an injury connected to his military service. He claimed he couldn't walk or dress himself, but officials say he hiked, biked and played horseshoes.
He also claimed to have limited mobility because of an injury suffered while working for the post office.
He and his wife were ordered to pay back the more than $1.2 million they received in VA and workers compensation benefits.