SAN DIEGO (CN) – A civilian Navy employee was charged with defrauding the U.S. government of $400,000, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said.

Federal prosecutors unsealed a 16-count criminal indictment against Leray Shurn, charging him with mail fraud, wire fraud and other crimes, according to prosecutors’ statement.

Shurn, 59, of Chula Vista, is accused of defrauding the Navy and the Department of Veterans Affairs by getting workers’ comp and disability payments to which he was not entitled.

“According to the indictment, Shurn falsely represented to the Department of the Navy and Department of Veterans Affairs that back or knee injuries prevented him from working as a Navy civilian employee, and that he was not engaged in any employment where he received payment of any kind, was not self-employed, was not involved in any business enterprises, and did not have an ownership interest in any business enterprise,” prosecutors said in the statement. “The indictment alleges, however, that Shurn intentionally concealed from these agencies that, in fact, he was operating a landscaping business in which he personally performed landscaping work for numerous individuals, prepared written estimates and monthly bills, and collected payment for the landscaping services he and his employees rendered.”

Shurn was ordered to appear in court in April 2 for a hearing on motions.

Mail fraud and wire fraud are each punishable by up to 20 years in prison and fines of up to $250,000.

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