Mineola, NY – Nassau County District Attorney Madeline Singas has announced that a Town of Hempstead sanitation worker was recently arrested for wrongfully collecting more than $7,500 in disability insurance, after claiming that he was injured during the course of his job when he allegedly injured himself near a bar in New Hyde Park.
Kevin Breen, 27, of New Hyde Park, was arraigned before District Court Judge Joseph Girardi on charges of Grand Larceny in the 3rd Degree (a D felony), Insurance Fraud in the 3rd Degree (a D felony), Offering a False Instrument for Filing in the 1st Degree (an E felony) and violating Section 114.1 of the New York State Workers’ Compensation Law (an E felony). The defendant was conditionally released to probation and is due back in court June 16. If convicted of the charge Breen faces up to 2-1/3 to 7 years in prison.
“Disability payments exist to protect hardworking New Yorkers who are legitimately injured in the course of their jobs,” DA Singas said. “Fraudulent workers’ compensation claims are not victimless crimes. These wrongful claims cost taxpayers millions of dollars every year. I thank the Hempstead officials who brought this case to our attention. This arrest should serve as a reminder that we are working with our partners around Nassau County to weed out fraudulent workers’ compensation claims.”
DA Singas said that Breen, employed by the Town of Hempstead Department of Sanitation as a part time laborer, was allegedly injured after a night out at Charlie Bullfrog’s bar in New Hyde Park on October 2. The defendant, at approximately 4:00 a.m. that night, was allegedly intoxicated and fell through a plate glass window of an empty storefront and injured his hand, lacerating tendons and nerves. He was taken to Winthrop University Hospital.
Breen was suspended from his job for seven days, beginning October 1. The defendant claimed he was injured while working for the town on September 29. He allegedly claimed that he jumped off a truck while it was still moving and injured his hand as he attempted to break his fall. Breen then applied to the Town of Hempstead for disability payments.
Breen allegedly collected disability insurance from November 12 to January 21, and the Town of Hempstead paid a total of more than $7,500, including medical payments. On March 11, the Workers Compensation Board held a hearing and determined that Breen had violated the law. The claim was disallowed and the average weekly wage and lost time was rescinded.
The defendant was then terminated by the Town of Hempstead on March 30.
The case was referred to the NCDA by the Town of Hempstead.
Assistant District Attorney Vickie Curran of DA Singas’ Government and Consumer Frauds Bureau is prosecuting the case. Breen was represented at arraignment by Legal Aid Society.
The charges are merely accusations and the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless found guilty.
Source: Nassau DA’s Office