'Price is Right' run foils postal carrier's worker's comp claim
Posted June 3, 2013 5:23 p.m. EDT
Updated June 3, 2013 11:53 p.m. EDT
Greenville, N.C. — 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.
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.