New York State
James J. Wrynn Superintendent of Insurance 25 Beaver Street New York, N.Y. 10004
|ISSUED 01/15/2010||FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE|
A Plattsburgh area man convicted of insurance fraud in 2003 was arrested on the same charge Wednesday after investigators found that he falsified a medical examination to get full workers’ compensation benefits when he may have only been entitled to partial benefits.
The New York State Insurance Department reported that James R. Lacey, 54, of Lizzies Lane, Morrisonville, was arrested for collecting $6,600 in benefits he was not entitled to receive. He started collecting the benefits after suffering a back injury in a traffic accident in 2007. The injury occurred while he was working as a trash collector for a private garbage collection company.
While Insurance Department Frauds Bureau investigators did not dispute the injury, they said he failed to disclose a similar reported injury that occurred earlier and led to his arrest in 2003. Lacey would not have received full wage replacement benefits had he disclosed the earlier injury.
In 2003, Lacey pleaded guilty in Albany County to charges of insurance fraud and workers’ compensation fraud for exaggerating the extent of a disability caused when he suffered an earlier work-related injury. He was sentenced to pay $8,400 in restitution, serve 60 days in jail and serve five years’ probation.
Lacey now faces charges of third degree insurance fraud, third degree grand larceny and committing a fraudulent practice. He was arrested as the result of an investigation begun when a workers’ compensation claims examiner for the New York Insurance Fund recognized his name from the earlier case.
The investigation was conducted by the Insurance Department’s Frauds Bureau, the New York Insurance Fund and the Inspector General’s Office of the Workers’ Compensation Board.
If Lacey is convicted of the new charges, he could be sentenced to up to four years in jail. He was released pending a hearing scheduled Feb. 4 in Plattsburgh City Court.
The case is being prosecuted by Clinton County Assistant District Attorney Chantelle Schember.