Albany, NY – New York State Inspector General Catherine Leahy Scott and Orange County District Attorney David M. Hoovler recently announced that a Rockland County man has pleaded guilty to Workers’ Compensation fraud and will be ordered to pay more than $27,000 in restitution.
Trent Mitchell, 45, of Campbell Court, West Haverstraw, pleaded guilty in Orange County Court to Insurance Fraud in the Third Degree, a felony. As part of the plea, Mitchell must pay $27,468 in restitution to insurance company Chartis Claims, Inc.
“This defendant defrauded the Workers’ Compensation system to steal benefits meant for honest employees who are truly unable to work,” said Inspector General Leahy Scott. “I will continue to use the resources of my office and work with my law enforcement partners to end the abuses of the system by those who use fraud
and deceit at the expense of hard-working New Yorkers.”
“My office is dedicated to combating frauds that effect taxpayers’ wallets, such as workers’ compensation fraud,” said District Attorney David M. Hoovler. “I am grateful for the success we have had in recovering public money that has been taken through fraud, and pledge to continue those efforts. Fraud prosecutions are
most successful when agencies work collaboratively with each other. I thank New York State Inspector General Leahy Scott and her office for all the assistance they have provided on this case and other cases with our office, and pledge to continue to prevent the theft of public monies.”
An investigation by Inspector General Leahy Scott found Mitchell began collecting Workers’ Compensation benefits when injured in early 2010 after slipping on a pipe while working as a laborer for a Somers lighting company. As part of his continued claim for Workers’ Compensation benefits, Mitchell repeatedly asserted he
was not working in any capacity when in fact he had a full-time job in 2011 and 2012 as a loading dock supervisor at an Orange County trucking company. During the time he was working for the trucking company, Mitchell received $27,468 in Workers’ Compensation insurance benefits to which he was not entitled.
Under State law, employers are required to maintain Workers’ Compensation coverage for their employees, and employees are expected to provide truthful information regarding their work activity to insurance carriers and the Workers’ Compensation Board during the time they are receiving benefits.
Workers’ Compensation fraud impacts all New Yorkers, from increased insurance premiums to increased workloads for coworkers and an overall reduction in workforce productivity.
Mitchell is due back in Orange County Court June 3 for sentencing.
Inspector General Leahy Scott thanked the Orange County Sheriff’s Office for their assistance with the investigation, and Orange County District Attorney David M. Hoovler and his office for prosecuting this matter.
Source: NY Inspector General’s Office