Probation, fine for ex-Jeannette Post Office supervisor who lied about mugging

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A former Jeannette Post Office supervisor was sentenced today to five years of probation and a $5,000 fine for making false statements that he was mugged outside of his workplace in an effort to collect workers' compensation.

Jeffrey Allen Gogets, 51, of Greensburg, told U.S. District Judge Alan N. Bloch that he apologized to Jeannette emergency services personnel and the court, saying "there was no logical explanation for his actions."

Federal guidelines suggested that Mr. Gogets could get as much as six months in prison and Judge Bloch noted that he "defrauded the government, and indirectly the taxpayers," of $9,201, which he will have to finish paying back.

Imprisonment wasn't necessary, the judge said, but a fine was appropriate.

After the judge imposed the fine, assistant federal public defender Tara Allen objected that Mr. Gogets couldn't afford to pay.

"If he would just give up the five cell phones he pays for every month," said Judge Bloch, he could easily afford $100-a-month installments on the fine.

The judge then adjourned the sentencing hearing.

Mr. Gogets claimed in April 2011 that on his way in to work he was hit and robbed of $150.

Subsequent investigation showed that he tossed his wallet and car keys, broke a glass bottle, laid on a walkway and banged on a side door.

He lied to ambulance and medical helicopter personnel, too, prosecutors said, before admitting that he hurt himself.

Ms. Allen argued that he had no prior criminal record, served nine years in the Navy and worked for 25 years for the postal service.

Ms. Allen wrote in a court filing that his scheme to fake an injury was "a misguided cry for attention by a man who felt that his life was spiraling out of control" because of a family member's medical problems.

She wrote that he has lost his career because of the incident and should get probation.

breaking - neigh_westmoreland

Rich Lord: rlord@post-gazette.com or 412-263-1542.


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