Who is the greatest fraud of all time? Of whom do we consider a “fraud”, and what is the criteria upon which we compare and determine the final judgment?
Certainly, many would include Bernie Madoff in that category; but what of tricksters and hoaxes that will have you believe in magical powers of levitation, bending spoons and non-invasive surgeries? Is the greater hoax based upon the sheer number of believers, or upon the amount gained and the fervency of trust betrayed? Do the number of believers following a cult leader count, based upon the quantifiable nature of the fraud itself, or is it the level of unquestioning belief that makes up for the lesser crowds garnered?
And what about the common fraudster — of the smiling face during times of need, but the quick stab once your worth is no longer apparent? And of the workplace where the smiling backstabber whispers in conspiratorial glee, when once the boss listens and smirks at your every deed, replacing the accolades once passing for sincerity when all that was truly there was a Noh mask that concealed the sneer of disdain? And what of that believer who persuades all of the others who were doubtful, but because you respected him or her, the fact that the believer lead others into the flock of deception — is that first believer also a fraudster?
And in the lonely quietude of one’s own thoughts and reflections, studies have shown that a great many people believe they themselves are fraudsters — perhaps not on the grand scale of having bilked millions, but merely that you are not whom you appear to be, and thus the empty shell within haunts in the conscience of a sleepless night.
For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who suffer from a medical condition such that the medical condition begins to prevent the Federal or Postal employee from performing one or more of the essential elements of one’s Federal or Postal job, there is often a sense that a “fraud” is being committed — that having to be forced to “hide” the seriousness of the medical condition at the expense of one’s health; of striving to extend one’s Federal or Postal career beyond that which is medically advisable has been a necessity; and of having that conscience in disrepair because you cannot do everything that you once were able to — these are the characteristics of the Federal employee and Postal worker who possess a high degree of conscience and work ethic.
But do not mistake and confuse the difference between “fraud” and “conscience”; for, the former has no inkling of the latter, and it is because of the latter that the Federal workforce is so effective in administering goods and services in such a wide range of ways, with so little to work with. But when it comes time to take care of one’s health, the Federal or Postal employee who must consider preparing, formulating and filing an effective Federal Disability Retirement application, whether under FERS, CSRS or CSRS Offset, must take into account the cost of fraud — of being untrue to one’s self by continuing in a job which is no longer consistent with one’s health.
Now, that is the greatest fraud of all — of lying to yourself and allowing your health to deteriorate.
Robert R. McGill, Esquire