Just as a guard rail on a highway prevents cars from running off the road, the justice system serves as a guardrail by preventing fraudsters from running amok and inflicting more damage on their victims. Today’s fraudster from Sanborn, New York committed workers’ compensation fraud after allegedly injuring himself while literally moving a guardrail. (He got lucky and scraped by with a fender bender instead of a head-on crash when he collided with the New York State Insurance Fund.)
The 50-year-old man from Sanborn began receiving workers’ compensation benefits from the state’s workers’ compensation insurance fund while working for the New York State Thruway Authority. He allegedly sustained a debilitating injury while moving a guardrail while on-the-job. (I imagine that depending on the materials used, guardrails can weigh several hundred pounds. Sounds like a job for machinery, not humans.) Today’s fraud article states that after the injury, he stopped working and began collecting $491.68 in benefits per week. (He collected $5,211.81 over 10 weeks.)
After the 10 weeks, the checks stopped coming following surveillance that revealed the man was installing and servicing swimming pools for a local contractor. (Obviously, you can’t collect workers’ compensation benefits if you’re earning a salary at another job. Perhaps the injury wasn’t so bad after all.) During that time, the Thruway worker submitted documentation certifying that he was not working.
It’s important to mention at this point that employers in New York are required under State law to maintain workers’ compensation coverage for their employees. (This means the company spends a small fortune through insurance premiums to make sure that their employees are protected in the event of an injury.) In return, workers are expected to be honest about their injury and any work activities they are able to participate in while receiving workers’ compensation benefits. (This guy was deliberately defying the rules.)
The man from Sanborn pleaded guilty to workers’ compensation fraud. (Surveillance usually provides proof that can’t be refuted.) He scraped by with a punishment of restitution of $5,211.81 when sentenced as opposed to a head-on collision with a jail sentence.
When convicted, criminals receive correction (or punishment, depending on how you look at it) that will ultimately help perpetrators rehabilitate into law-abiding citizens. Let’s hope that this former New York State Thruway employee will have a new-found respect for the guardrails put in place to protect honest, hard-working New Yorkers.
Today’s “Fraud of the Day” is based on an article entitled, “NY State Thruway Authority Worker Pleads Guilty to Workers’ Comp Fraud,” posted on WorkersCompensation.com on April 5, 2018.
Buffalo, NY (WorkersCompensation.com) – New York State Inspector General Catherine Leahy Scott today announced the guilty plea of a New York State Thruway Authority worker who defrauded the Workers’ Compensation system and stole over $5,000 in benefits to which he was not entitled.
Dean Anthony, 50, of Human Road, Sanborn, pleaded guilty in Town of Cambria Court to Petit Larceny. He is due to pay full restitution of $5,211.81 at the time of sentencing on June 5, 2018.