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“The government should have some justification,” he said.

In the North Carolina case, the investigation began after the Postal Service’s inspector general received an anonymous tip through its fraud hot line, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of North Carolina.

The couple, identified in court documents as Charles and Robin Smith, were videotaped engaging in wide range of activities that prosecutors said exceeded the physical limitations laid out in their disability claims.

An attorney for Charles Smith, who was sentenced to three months’ probation, declined to comment Wednesday. Defense attorneys had sought to have the case dismissed after the verdict, arguing that the video clips obtained by investigators did not reveal Charles Smith’s level of pain.

U.S. Attorney Anne M. Tompkins said in a statement on the case following trial in January that the investigation helped save more than $1 million.

Overall, from April 1, 2010, to Sept. 30, 2011, the Postal Service inspector general told Congress in a recent report that its workers’ compensation fraud investigations resulted in $65 million in savings, with 19 arrests and 60 personnel actions, including removals, suspensions and termination of benefits.