Albany, NY – New York State Inspector General Catherine Leahy Scott recently announced the indictment and arrest of a Kentucky woman accused of stealing nearly $40,000 in Workers’ Compensation benefits meant for the woman’s long-deceased mother, a former Orange-Ulster BOCES employee.
Sheryl A. Colson (aka Sheryl McClure), 47, of Kline Trail in New Concord, Kentucky, was indicted by an Orange County Grand Jury on a charge of Grand Larceny in the Third Degree, a felony. She was arrested in Kentucky, extradited to New York and arraigned in Orange County Court on the indicted charge.
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.
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.
“This defendant’s morbid abuse of her deceased mother’s account and her years-long theft of funds must be answered for,” said Inspector General Leahy Scott. “I will continue dedicating the resources of my office to protect the critical benefits that are meant to assist honest, hard-working New Yorkers.”
“Combatting the theft of public monies has been a major goal of the Orange County District Attorney’s Office since I became District Attorney,” said District Attorney Hoovler. “I thank Inspector General Leahy Scott and her staff for the investigation of this case. The only way to ensure that those who are entitled to public benefits receive what they need is to make sure that those who fraudulently obtain benefits are prosecuted. This is only possible when law enforcement agencies work collaboratively as they did in this case.”
Colson was arraigned before Orange County Court Judge Craig Brown and remanded to the Orange County Jail in lieu of $$39,850 cash or $100,000 bond bail pending further court action. She is next scheduled to appear in court February 9.
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.
The defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty in a court of law.
Source: NY Inspector General’s Office