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'Price is Right' exposes fraud when claimant spins the big wheel

By Kristen Butler, UPI.com   |   June 4, 2013 at 11:59 AM   |   Comments

Former North Carolina postal carrier Cathy Wrench Cashwell pleaded guilty to fraud in federal court Monday, after evidence surfaced of her appearance on the TV game show "The Price is Right" while receiving worker's compensation.

Cashwell claimed she couldn't lift mail trays into a truck due to a 2004 on-the-job shoulder injury. But according to an indictment filed in September last year, Cashwell appeared on 'The Price is Right' in 2009 and got to spin the big wheel.

According to the complaint, 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."

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.

The indictment alleged Cashwell and her husband went ziplining while on a Carnival Cruise in 2010, and the she was also spotted lifting furniture and carrying groceries with both arms in 2011.

Private investigator Allison Blackman told WRAL that worker's comp fraud fairly common. Blackman estimated that nearly 30 percent of compensation claims in North Carolina are fraudulent.

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