Former Boone postal worker sentenced to prison
by Staff Reports
A former U.S. Postal Service supervisor from Boone was sentenced Tuesday to 16 months in prison for lying on a worker's compensation document, according to the U.S. Department of Justice.
Joseph Catone Jr., 58, was convicted in March 2012 of falsifying details on a federal document he submitted in 2008 seeking workman's comp benefits.
Catone, who worked at the post office in Boone, claimed in July 2006 that he had developed a stress-related condition as a result of excessive driving related to his job. The Department of Labor accepted his claim for temporary aggravation of sleep apnea, and Catone became eligible for benefits, according to the DOJ.
As part of his benefits, Catone was required to periodically report employment, self-employment and volunteer work or income he had earned. The government submitted evidence at trial showing Catone had claimed that he had not been employed elsewhere or received any other money while receiving workers comp benefits.
But evidence showed that Catone had worked as a custodian for Angelo Nigro, doing business as Angelo's Maintenance, from August 2006 to August 2008, according to the courts. Witnesses said they regularly saw Catone vacuuming, picking up trash and performing other duties at the Hayes Performing Arts Center in Blowing Rock, according to the DOJ.
Catone received $132,214 in worker's compensation payments from April 2007 to September 2009.
U.S. District Judge Richard Voorhees sentenced Catone on Tuesday to 16 months in prison based on "the need to deter others from similar conduct," according to a statement released Wednesday. Federal sentences must be served without the possibility of parole.
Catone also must serve three years under court supervision after his release and must pay $106,411.83 in restitution, the DOJ said.