Monday, September 1, 2014
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Federal grand jury indicts couple in alleged workers’ comp, bankruptcy fraud case

By
From page A4 | August 03, 2012 |

VACAVILLE — A federal grand jury in Sacramento indicted a Vacaville husband and wife Thursday for allegedly defrauding the government out of more than $120,000 for bogus workers’ compensation benefits and for bankruptcy fraud.

Michael McCree, 60, and Debra Fields, 58, both face possibly 15 years in prison or longer if they are convicted of the felony charges. Both were arrested by federal agents last month and were out of custody after each posted $100,000 bail.

McCree worked for six months as a mail processor for the U.S. Postal Service in Oakland back in 1988 and 1989 when he went out on a disability leave, claiming he hurt his lower back. He never went back to work and has been receiving workers’ compensation benefits ever since — 23 years.

Less than a year after claiming his injury, McCree was fired by the Postal Service for falsifying documents. But the U.S. Department of Labor, which covers workers’ compensation claims, kept paying him monthly nontaxable benefits until June 2012, shortly before his arrest. He received a monthly government check of $2,327 in wage loss compensation before his arrest, according to court records.

McCree was also receiving monthly Veterans Affairs compensation of $3,601 for a 100-percent service-connected disability. Fields, who works full-time as a nurse assistant for Veterans Affairs in Martinez, received $1,500 a month from the Postal Service to provide home nursing services to her husband.

After receiving monthly workers’ compensation payments for more than 20 years, investigators took a closer look at McCree, conducting undercover surveillance in June 2012 from outside the couple’s Dawnview Way home, according to court records.

The surveillance was prompted by the discovery that McCree had collected more than $124,000 between 2007 and 2012 for travel mileage reimbursement in which McCree claimed he was traveling 190 miles round-trip, four times a week, from Vacaville to physical therapy in Oakland. Investigators discerned the round trip was not 190 miles. They also discovered the clinic was an Alcoholics Anonymous group. Workers’ compensation does not cover Alcoholics Anonymous.

Agents followed McCree and Fields a dozen times in June. He did not have a driver’s license and she always did the driving. They never drove to Oakland and he never got treatment. Instead, they typically drove to a local coffee shop before going to a home being built on Cache Court in Vacaville. McCree later filed mileage claims, paid at 55 cents a mile, stating he had driven to Oakland each of those days in June.

Investigators learned the home being built was being purchased by McCree, who claimed his only source of income was his federal “retirement.”

Investigators also discovered McCree had started a corporation in 1992 named The Next Step Regeneration House for recovering addicts and alcoholics. A 2009 filing with the state named McCree as the corporation’s chief executive officer. That ran contrary to McCree’s annual signed affidavits in which he claimed no business endeavors.

Investigators learned Fields filed for bankruptcy in 2011, claiming around $750,000 in debt. While she mentioned the $1,500 monthly VA payments, she did not mention her husband’s wage loss compensation or the mileage reimbursement in her bankruptcy filings. She also did not mention the bank account through which the new home was being purchased. Instead she listed two bank accounts, each with balances of less than $200.

McCree was charged with 18 counts of making false statements in order to receive workers’ compensation and other compensation and reimbursements. Fields was charged with three counts: concealing property, making a false oath and making a false statement.

“This indictment marks a significant effort in the ongoing battle against fraudulent workers’ compensation claims. The workers’ compensation program benefits thousands of postal employees who have suffered legitimate on-the-job injuries. But false claims by postal employees undermine the system. Special agents with the U.S. Postal Service Office of Inspector General investigate such claims and work hand in hand with the U.S. Attorney’s Office to ensure violators are brought to justice,” Special Agent in Charge Nichole Cooper said in a news release announcing the indictments.

Reach Jess Sullivan at 427-6919 or jsullivan@dailyrepublic.net. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/jsullivandr.

Jess Sullivan

Jess has covered the criminal justice system in Solano County for several years. He was an embedded reporter in Iraq in 2003.
LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | No comments

The Daily Republic does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

.

Solano News

 
Highway 12 project nears completion

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A1, 3 Comments | Gallery

‘Snail mail’ still kinda cool

By Tony Wade | From Page: A2

 
Democrats plan candidates meet, greet

By Glen Faison | From Page: A3, 2 Comments

 
Stand Up 2 Cancer Viewing party set in Vacaville

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3

Senior center schedules discussion on senior travel

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3

 
Local government schedule meetings

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3

 
 
Car club raises funds, supplies for SPCA

By Ian Thompson | From Page: A3

Goodwill opens Outlet Store in Fairfield

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A7, 2 Comments | Gallery

 
Premier post details of new lease

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A7

 
Il Fiorello to host jazz event

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A7, 1 Comment

 
New doctors join NorthBay

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A7

Small earthquakes shake Solano

By Glen Faison | From Page: A9, 1 Comment

 
.

Opinion

 
Whopper of a tax dodge for Burger King

By Mike Kirchubel | From Page: A8, 27 Comments

 
Is social media enlarging or stifling democracy?

By Cynthia M. Allen | From Page: A8

Compromise on Cordelia Road rail crossing costs

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A8, 4 Comments

 
Justice for all

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A8, 9 Comments

Good job, Susan Winlow

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A8, 2 Comments

 
Editorial Cartoon: Sept. 1, 2014

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

.

Living

Community Calendar: Sept. 1, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

 
Today in History: Sept. 1, 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

Is my husband right when he says men aren’t made for monogamy?

By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar | From Page: B5

 
Horoscopes: Sept. 1, 2014

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: B5

 
Horoscopes: Sept. 2, 2014

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: B7

.

Entertainment

TVGrid

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A5

 
5 takeaways from a punch-less summer box office

By Jake Coyle | From Page: A11

Joan Rivers’ daughter: I’m keeping fingers crossed

By The Associated Press | From Page: A11

 
TVGrid

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A11

.

Sports

Source: 49ers OL Boone agrees to new 2-yr deal

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
49er Ray McDonald accused of domestic violence

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1, 1 Comment | Gallery

Kahne holds off Kenseth to win Atlanta shootout

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Wozniacki outlasts Sharapova, in US Open quarters

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Falcons looking to be defensive

By Paul Farmer | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Down at half, US beats Turkey in basketball worlds

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Source: Chiefs’ Smith agrees to 4-yr extension

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Tony Stewart’s return to race track ends early

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Sam clears waivers, meets with Fisher

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

FC Kansas City wins NWSL title over Seattle, 2-1

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Raiders claim DE Mayowa off waivers

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Jensen waived after Jaguars awarded TE Shuler

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Otto wins Italian Open; Gallacher comes up short

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Weather for Monday, Sept. 1, 2014

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B2

 
Henley takes a 1-shot lead at Deutsche Bank

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Dunn dealt to A’s, could be his last shot playoffs

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Fred Couples wins Champions Tour event

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

A’s frustrated after 8-1 loss caps sweep by Angels

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

 
Ernst wins LPGA’s Portland Classic in playoff

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Giants power past Brewers 15-5 for 3-game sweep

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

 
This date in sports history for Monday, Sept. 1, 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

 
.

Business

.

Obituaries

Laurie Danielson Bailey

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4, 3 Comments

 
Hazel Gertrude Wamsley

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

Jerry Lee Trammell

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4, 6 Comments

 
.

Comics

Rose is Rose Sept 1

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Baldo Sept 1

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Beetle Bailey Sept 1

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
B.C. Sept 1

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Get Fuzzy Sept 1

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Frank and Ernest Sept 1

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Dilbert Sept 1

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Zits Sept 1

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Pickles Sept 1

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Wizard of Id Sept 1

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Garfield Sept 1

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4, 1 Comment

 
Sally Forth Sept 1

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

For Better or Worse Sept 1

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Baby Blues Sept 1

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Peanuts Sept 1

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Blondie Sept 1

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Sudoku Sept 1

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
Crossword Sept 1

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

Cryptoquote Sept 1

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
Word Sleuth Sept 1

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

Baldo Sept 2

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Garfield Sept 2

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Frank and Ernest Sept 2

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Zits Sept 2

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Dilbert Sept 2

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Wizard of Id Sept 2

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

For Better or Worse Sept 2

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Sally Forth Sept 2

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Peanuts Sept 2

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Blondie Sept 2

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Rose is Rose Sept 2

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Get Fuzzy Sept 2

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

B.C. Sept 2

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Word Sleuth Sept 2

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

Crossword Sept 2

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

 
Cryptoquote Sept 2

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

Sudoku Sept 2

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

 
Bridge Sept 2

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7