In a news report from Philly.com a Southern New Jersey man is accused of hiding his job as a horseshoer in order to defraud the federal government of more than $60,000 in workers’ comp benefits. I felt the need to report on this story being a Philly based company and having this happen right in our backyard.
Herman Mokuau, 68, of Bridgeton was charged by federal officials with making fraudulent statement regarding workers’ compensation benefits.
Mokuau was a laborer at the Philadelphia Naval Shipyard when he injured his left knee back in August of 1985. He was entitled to workers’ comp benefits which he received until the following November. He returned to work on lighter duty work as a supply clerk.
In 1999 Mokuau fell on the job re-injuring his knee to which he again began collecting comp benefits until June of 2012.
Apparently in 2004 Mokuau began to work as a horseshoer, to which he was paid and earned income. He was in fact so good at his job the in 2005 he became president of the southern chapter of the Garden State Horseshoer Association.
Mokuau was collecting workers comp benefits this entire time and even sent in annual forms indicating that he had not worked nor received income in the previous year. He did this for eight years and collected $62,615.39 which he was never entitled to and falsified documents to receive.
If convicted Mokuau could receive 15 years in prison, 3 years supervised release, a fine of $500,000 and also pay back full restitution.