NY Woman Stole $15K In Workers’ Compensation Benefits From Dead Mother
Workers’ compensation benefits are available to those who injure themselves in a workplace accident. These benefits pay for medical expenses and lost wages so that workers can take time off to recuperate from their injuries.
A person is not entitled to a family member’s workers’ compensation benefits. Once a person is able to go back to work or passes away from their injuries, the state agency must be informed to avoid overpayment.
Anyone who takes these benefits is considered to be stealing. That was what happened to a New York woman, who stole her late mother’s benefits. She was recently sentenced to jail, probation, and restitution.
The 55-year-old woman was sentenced on March 2 after stealing $15,027 in workers’ compensation benefits while acting as power of attorney for her mother. The mother passed away on August 20, 2019. The woman continued receiving workers’ compensation funds from Bedivere Insurance Company until last August, as well as from August 20, 2019 to July 27, 2020 from New York State Insurance Fund.
The woman stole $10,683 from Bedivere and another $4,344 from New York State Insurance Fund. While all funds were issued to the deceased mother, the woman stole them while acting in her role as power of attorney.
On December 1, 2021, the woman admitted to the theft, pleading guilty to petit larceny. She had originally been arrested for two counts of third-degree grand larceny. She was sentenced to three weekends in the Wayne County Jail and three years’ probation. She was also ordered to pay full restitution.
What is Workers’ Compensation Fraud?
Workers’ compensation fraud occurs when someone knowingly makes a false statement related to a workers’ compensation claim or insurance in an attempt to defraud the agency. Workers’ compensation fraud is a class E felony, punishable by fines, prison time, and/or repayment of restitution.
Workers’ compensation fraud can happen in many forms. People who file a false claim or misrepresent a claim are committing fraud. People who get hurt participating in a leisure activity on the weekend but report it when they return to work on Monday as a work-related accident are committing fraud. Employers who misclassify their employees are committing workers’ compensation fraud.
Workers’ compensation fraud is also common in the medical industry. Health care providers who submit false medical reports or inflated bills are engaging in fraud. Fraud results in higher prices for everyone so it affects everyone and should be avoided.
Contact Us for More Information About Workers’ Compensation Benefits
Workers’ compensation benefits are only for those who are injured in the workplace. Taking possession of benefits meant for a family member is illegal and subject to criminal penalties.
A White Plains workers’ compensation lawyer from The Law Office of Michael Lawrence Varon can determine whether or not you qualify for benefits. Get the advice you need. Schedule a free initial consultation by filling out the online form or calling (914) 228-1770.