Arrests for September 2000
These arrests were made possible through the cooperation of the Frauds Bureau, law enforcement, the insurance industry and the public.
To report suspected incidents of insurance fraud, call 1-888-FRAUDNY
GUILTY PLEAS IN THREE FRAUD CASES
- On October 3, 2000, Deborah A Carney, a licensed practical nurse from Rochester, pled guilty in Monroe County Court to grand larceny in the 3rd degree. From February 1993 to September 1996, Carney submitted fraudulent claims to Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rochester for nursing services. During the three-year period, the insurer paid out over $166,000 in claims, of which more than $89,000 involved false information and inaccurate billing facts. A joint investigation by the Frauds Bureau, the Rochester Police Department and the defrauded insurer led to her arrest on June 15, 2000. Carney faces up to seven years in prison. Sentencing is set for November 22, 2000.
- On September 7, 2000, Stephen T. Maimone of Pittsford, New York pled guilty to criminal possession of a forged instrument in the 3rd degree. On three occasions from 1996 to 1999, this self-employed wallpaper hanger altered certificates of insurance to indicate that he had workers compensation and other insurance coverages when in fact he had none. He submitted the certificates of insurance to a contractor in order to obtain work on various projects without securing the appropriate insurance. His arrest on August 2, 2000 was the result of an investigation conducted by the Frauds Bureau and the Monroe County District Attorneys Office. Punishment for this charge is one year in jail or a $1,000 fine. Sentencing is set for 11/9/00.
- Scott Zatley of Binghamton pled guilty to criminal solicitation in the 5th degree and was sentenced to a one-year conditional discharge and restitution of $1,500 to USAA Insurance Company. Zatley, the owner of Disaster Kleen Up, was hired by USAA to clean up medical waste from the property of one of the insurers policyholders. Zatley billed USAA and the insurer issued a check for $1,500 that required the signature of both Zatley and the policyholder. When the policyholder refused to sign the check because of dissatisfaction with the work, Zatley forged the policyholders name. The investigation was conducted by the Frauds Bureau and the Broome County District Attorneys Office.
Upstate Resident Arrested on 9/29/00
Charged with arson in the 3rd degree, insurance fraud in the 2nd and 3rd degrees and grand larceny in the 3rd degree
This defendant is charged with intentionally causing a fire at his home and then filing a fraudulent insurance claim totaling more than $50,000. He collected a $5,000 advance from his insurer after he filed a fraudulent sworn proof of loss. The Frauds Bureau, the Hoosick Falls Police Department and the Rensselaer County District Attorneys Office conducted the investigation that led to the arrest.
KEEPING THE HOMEFIRES BURNING
West Sand Lake Man Arrested on 9/26/00.
Charged with Arson in the 3rd degree and insurance fraud in the 2nd degree.
Following an investigation by the Frauds Bureau, the Rensselaer County Sheriffs Department and the New York State Office of Fire Prevention and Control, a truck driver from West Sand Lake was arrested and charged with intentionally setting a fire at his residence and then fleeing the scene. He later submitted a claim for $115,000 for the dwelling and $80,500 for personal property in an attempt to obtain his policy limits.
THE TRUTH WILL OUT
Warehouse Manager Arrested on 9/25/00.
Charged with insurance fraud in the 3rd degree.
This defendant allegedly lied about his work status in sworn testimony and in written documents in an attempt to continue collecting workers compensation benefits to which he was not entitled. The case was investigated jointly by the Frauds Bureau, the State Insurance Fund and the Suffolk County District Attorneys Office.
ONONDAGA COUNTY SWEEP NABS 20 SUSPECTS
Arrested on 9/19-20/00.
Charged in various insurance fraud schemes.
A joint investigation conducted by the Frauds Bureau, the State Insurance Fund, the Workers Compensation Fraud Inspector General and the Onondaga County District Attorneys Office culminated in the arrest of 20 individuals on 9/19-9/20/00. The bulk of the arrests involved allegations of workers compensation fraud. This successful investigation provides further proof of New York States commitment to reducing the incidence of workers compensation fraud.
- Two owners of a small business in Syracuse are charged with conspiring to conceal from an inspector from the Workers Compensation Board that one of their employees actually worked for them. The employee, who collected $12,380 in workers compensation benefits over the period of his employment, deceived his insurer about his ability to work.
- In a similar case, a woman while employed as a bartender collected $1,525 in lost wage benefits to which she was not entitled. The owner of the bar, also arrested, is charged with falsely informing a Workers Compensation Board inspector that the bartender was not in his employ.
- One defendant is charged with impersonating his brother, a workers compensation claimant, in order to obtain prescription drug benefits from the State Insurance Fund.
- A Syracuse woman is charged with insurance fraud and grand larceny for damages to her car following an accident she claimed occurred on 9/25/99, one day after she had obtained insurance coverage. State Police records indicate that the accident occurred on 9/23/00, the day before the coverage took effect.
- In addition, 13 other suspects arrested in the sweep allegedly collected more that $90,000 in workers compensation benefits, while claiming to be unable to work. However, they were all employed in various jobs ranging from construction worker to taxi driver to a baker of apple pies to be sold at the Lafayette Apple Festival.
CAUGHT BY BAD DEBT
Business Owner Arrested on 9/21/00.
Charged with an E felony under Workers Compensation Law.
The owner of a cab company in Suffolk County is charged with failing to disclose a debt of unpaid premiums totaling more than $190,000 on an application for workers compensation insurance with the State Insurance Fund. An investigation by the Frauds Bureau and the Suffolk County District Attorneys Office led to the arrest.
RECEPTIONISTS ILL GOTTEN GAINS
Long Island Woman Arrested on 9/14/00.
Charged with insurance fraud in the 3rd degree.
During the period from January through July 1999, this defendant is alleged to have collected $3,080 in workers compensation benefits while she was actually employed. Her arrest was the result of an investigation by the Frauds Bureau and the Suffolk County District Attorneys Office.
FRIENDS DONT LET FRIENDS DRIVE DRUNK
Upstate Couple Arrested on 9/13/00.
Charged with insurance fraud in the 2nd degree.
Two Buffalo friends were involved in an auto accident in June 1999. Both parties assert that the man fell out of the passenger side of the car while it was being driven by the woman. The man submitted a claim to the womans insurer for $85,000 in lost wages and medical benefits. He also brought a negligence suit against the woman and her insurance carrier. However, an investigation by the Frauds Bureau and the New York State Police uncovered evidence that the man was the actual operator of the car at the time of the incident. Because he was legally intoxicated, no insurance benefits would have been paid had the truth been know.
WORKERS COMPENSATION SYSTEM SHORTCHANGED
Brentwood Man Arrested on 9/8/00.
Charged with insurance fraud in the 4th degree.
This defendant is accused of testifying before the Workers Compensation Board that he was unable to work when in fact he was employed by a local McDonalds. A subpoena was served on McDonalds for his work records which determined that he was in fact working at that location from December 1996 to the time of his arrest. The Frauds Bureau conducted this investigation jointly with the Suffolk County District Attorneys Office.