New York State
James J. Wrynn Superintendent of Insurance 25 Beaver Street New York, N.Y. 10004
|ISSUED 10/06/2009||FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE|
An Ulster County woman who claimed to be totally disabled after falling out of a chair was arrested Friday for accepting $73,000 in workers’ compensation benefits while she worked at a youth sports camp.
The New York State Insurance Department reported that Kathy M. Martinez, 56, of Carney Road, Ulster Park, started collecting benefits after claiming that injuries she suffered from the fall left her unable to work. She suffered the injuries while employed as a Spanish teacher in the Kingston School District in 2005.
However, Insurance Department Frauds Bureau investigators found that Martinez was actually handling payroll and other business services for the youth camp while collecting compensation benefits. Martinez is accused of stating on three separate occasions that her injuries prevented her from working. The benefits she received were paid through Ulster County, whose self-insured workers’ compensation plan covers Kingston School District employees.
“We appreciate the investigative work of the New York State Insurance Department and law enforcement personnel in this matter. As I have said many times before, my administration is committed to rooting out fraud and abuse, whenever it occurs, and there is zero tolerance in Ulster County for this type of alleged criminal behavior. These times are challenging enough for taxpayers, businesses and those who are trying to provide for their families, without the deceit that this case apparently represents,” said Ulster County Executive Mike Hein.
State police arrested Martinez on charges of insurance fraud and workers’ compensation fraud. She could be sentenced to up to 15 years in prison if she is convicted.
Judge James Gilpatric released Martinez in her own recognizance following her arraignment in city court, pending a hearing scheduled for Oct. 26. The case is being prosecuted by William Andrews, a special prosecutor for Ulster County District Attorney D. Holley Carnright.