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Ex-postal worker found guilty in fraud case

A former supervisor with the U.S. Postal Service in Boone has been sentenced to 16 months in prison and ordered to pay more than $100,000 in restitution after being found guilty of turning in a fraudulent workmen’s compensation form.

Joseph Catone Jr., 58, was convicted by a jury in March 2012 and was sentenced this week in a federal court in Statesville.

Federal prosecutors say Catone claimed in July 2006 that he had developed a stress-related conditions as a result of driving for long periods of time as a postal supervisor in the mountains of Watauga County. The Department of labor approved Catone’s claim for workmen’s compensation, authorities say, and he began receiving disability payments.

Receiving those payments prohibits recipients from being paid for other work, but prosecutors say Catone worked for two years until August 2008 doing maintenance for Angel’s Maintenance. Witnesses testified they say Catone doing cleaning services at the Hayes Performing Arts Center in Blowing Rock.

Meanwhile, prosecutors say, Catone received more than $132,000 in workmen’s compensation benefits.

U.S. District Judge Richard Voorhees said he handed Catone the prison sentence because of “the need to deter others from similar conduct.”

Steve Lyttle: 704-358-6107 Twitter: @slyttle
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