December 16, 2017

KY Woman Who Stole Dead Mother’s Workers’ Comp Benefits Sentenced

Albany, NY – New York State Inspector General Catherine Leahy Scott recently announced the sentencing of a Kentucky woman who stole nearly $40,000 in Worker’s’ Compensation benefits meant for her long-deceased mother who was a former Orange-Ulster BOCES employee.

Sheryl A. Colson (aka Sheryl McClure), 47, of New Concord, Kentucky, was sentenced in Orange County Court today to five years of probation supervision and full restitution after serving more than six months in the county jail. The sentencing stems from her guilty plea in May to the indicted charge of Grand Larceny in the Third Degree, a felony. She was arrested in Kentucky in January this year, extradited to New York, and pleaded guilty in Orange County Court as part of a disposition that included the requirement she pay full restitution of $39,850.

An investigation by Inspector General Leahy Scott found that Colson’s mother, a former nurse at Orange-Ulster BOCES in Goshen, New York, was injured on the job in 1997 and began receiving Workers’ Compensation benefits from the school. Colson’s mother moved to Kentucky in 2007 and passed away in 2011, but the $400-per-week checks kept coming from Orange-Ulster BOCES, which is self-insured. Colson, meanwhile, had access to her mother’s financial affairs and continued signing the checks, depositing them into her mother’s bank account and using the account’s debit card to make purchases for more than two years after her mother passed away.

“This defendant took advantage of her long-deceased mother’s financial accounts to enrich herself through a criminal scheme,” said Inspector General Leahy Scott. “I will continue to use the resources of my office to help ensure that critical Workers’ Compensation insurance benefits are not fraudulently obtained.”

Colson’s purchases using her deceased mother’s benefits included payment of general household expenses and bills, restaurant tabs, and products from an Indiana company specializing in the production of hand-blown glass pipes and other smoking devices. In total, Colson is accused of stealing $39,850 in benefits to which she was not entitled between Jan. 8, 2011, and Jan. 20, 2013.

Inspector General Leahy Scott thanked the Calloway County Sheriff’s Department in Kentucky and the New York State Police for assisting with the arrest and extradition, and Orange County District Attorney David M. Hoovler and his office for prosecuting this matter.

Source: NY Inspector General

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