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'Price is Right' run foils postal carrier's worker's comp claim

Posted June 3, 2013

— A former Fayetteville  postal carrier who was receiving worker's compensation payments after injuring herself on the job pleaded guilty to fraud in federal court Monday. 

Cathy Wrench Cashwell's claim that she couldn't lift mail trays into a truck due to a 2004 on-the-job shoulder injury was called into question in September 2009 when she appeared on "The Price is Right" and spun the "big wheel" twice.

According to an indictment filed in September 2012, Cashwell "raised her left arm above her head and gripped the handle with her left hand." On a second spin,  she "raised both arms above her head and gripped the same handle with both hands."

In August 2010, the indictment alleges, Cashwell and her husband went ziplining as part of a Carnival Cruise vacation. She was also seen lifting and carrying furniture and bags of groceries with both arms on two different occasions in 2011. 

Federal investigators say Cashwell knowingly lied when she wrote on her worker's compensation paperwork in September 2011 that she couldn't stand, sit, kneel, squat, climb, bend, reach or grasp.

Allison Blackman Private eye: Worker's comp fraud not uncommon

Private investigator Allison Blackman said worker's compensation fraud is not uncommon. 

"There's a lot of people out there not hurt who are drawing worker's comp," he said. "I've seen every kind of case you can see ... Sometimes you have to get in the woods and bushes. The secret is you've got to have your camera up, when they do what they're doing."

Blackman estimated that nearly 30 percent of worker's compensation claims in North Carolina are fraudulent.

Cashwell declined to comment Monday. She is slated for sentencing in September.

124 Comments

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  • quadrathlete Jun 7, 9:18 a.m.

    this fraud times tons of others just like it. Number 1, how can she get through the system and fool docs and everyone else? Number 2, why do libbies not want to admit stuff like this goes on all the time and conservatives just want to crack down on it. But when they do libbies cry foul and say we are hurting the poor and such.

  • 3TeensGrowinUp2Fast Jun 6, 3:33 p.m.

    Whatever happened to an honest day's work?

  • mckangst Jun 6, 3:30 p.m.

    My friends 90 yr old aunt is a zip-lining monster. The fact that the harness supports the weight of the body and not her shoulder helps with that.

    As far as "why someone should be supported by others"... disability is like any other insurance... the worker pays for it, one way or another (whether FICA or payroll deduction depending on type of disability). When someone collects disability it is like collecting an insurance claim -- if you've rightfully paid your premiums you are entitled to it. Even when STD/LTD is "given" to you as a benefit of a company, they are essentially paying you less per hour to pay for that benefit. How is it so many people have such strong opinions and don't even understand how these things work at a fundamental level?

  • justabumer Jun 6, 1:45 p.m.

    Even if the condition was legitimate, why should anyone expect to be supported by others?

  • heartofamerica1982pmheart6 Jun 6, 12:18 p.m.

    I know a few people gotta be fooling, its like paydirt for some. Hey, I can now take a cruse. But like some welfare programs there needs to be a face saving way out. Obviously they did a checkup in 2011, but I see two issues. You have been saying for the last 8 years that you are in pain. When did that change? One day you feel better one day you don't. If you say you feel better, and then suddenly you can barely walk again. So to be safe, you don't make a change to your statement. Then 3 years later, you are better, but can't say when. What do you say? Oh I'll stick to my story. You know what would be a good incentive to prevent fraud would be to give people there disability even after they are able to work.... Wow two incomes..... Only now you have a productive worker. Then you can ween them off the disability over a 5 year period. 20% reduction each year. Perhaps putting a portion into there 401k so they don't get immediate use. (i.e. you can take it away later if they abuse the syst

  • fehorse Jun 5, 11:50 a.m.

    In August 2010, the indictment alleges, Cashwell and her husband went ziplining as part of a Carnival Cruise vacation. She was also seen lifting and carrying furniture and bags of groceries with both arms on two different occasions in 2011.

    Did y'all MISS this part?? She was observed doing much more than spinning a wheel twice.

  • Gnathostomata Jun 5, 11:44 a.m.

    She is the person that makes the system not work for those who are genuinely disabled. Fraudulent cases bind up the few available workers who handle the paperwork, and take away monies that are needed by people's families. I hope they fine her lots and lots of money and give her time in a jail cell to go along with her disgrace. bum.

  • mrman2a Jun 5, 11:24 a.m.

    Government mentality on display yet again.If she worked for the IRS or DOJ she would get a promotion and a nice raise!Plead the 5th.

  • CandyParamedic Jun 5, 10:54 a.m.

    These worker comp/disability cases are complex and many truly disabled people's chances are ruined by the stain of these fraud cases. I work for a physician's group that specializes in medically evaluating these cases and we get some ridiculous claims. But I'll say that medically speaking there is a big difference in spinning a wheel twice and being able to lift heavy boxes for eight hours a day five days a week. I recently dealt with a workers comp case where the woman was being investigated while receiving disability because a shoulder injury left her unable to work in a warehouse any longer. She had been seen carrying a bag of groceries into her house. Not the same thing.

  • Sweetgrl3 Jun 5, 10:47 a.m.

    This is hilarious. How stupid can one be?

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