Syracuse, NY – New York State Inspector General Catherine Leahy Scott recently announced the arrest of a Oneida City School District employee on charges she defrauded the Workers’ Compensation system of more than $6,000 by accepting benefits for a work related injury while falsely denying that she was working even though she was employed as a child care provider and clerk at a truck rental business.
Shana M. Klouda (also known as Shana Perry), 27, of Norstar Boulevard, Liverpool, was charged with two counts of Falsifying Business Records in the First Degree and one count each of Grand Larceny in the Third Degree, Perjury in the First Degree, Insurance Fraud in the Third Degree and the Workers’ Compensation crime of Fraudulent Practices, all felonies.
An investigation by Inspector General Leahy Scott found that Klouda, who was injured in 2015 while working as a bus Monitor for Oneida City Schools, defrauded the Workers’ Compensation system and stole more than $6,000 in benefits by telling medical providers and testifying falsely to the Workers’ Compensation Board that she was not working in any capacity after she began receiving benefits from the injury. She was, however, employed as a day care provider in a child care center outside Syracuse, and as a clerk with U-Haul.
“This defendant’s fraudulent representations were a brazen abuse of a benefit system many honest workers rely on to make ends meet,” said Inspector General Leahy Scott. “Her fraudulent statements and actions were simply a way to supplement her income with funds to which she was not entitled. I will continue using the resources of my office to put a stop to anyone defrauding such a critical benefit system.”
The investigation found that shortly after she reported her injury at Oneida City Schools in July, 2015, Klouda began receiving Workers’ Compensation benefits based on her not having other employment. During Workers’ Compensation medical examinations that November and the following March, she fraudulently told the examiners she was not working in any capacity when, in fact, she had a job at either the day care or U-Haul during each of those appointments. Separately, in April 2016, Klouda falsely testified before the New York State Workers’ Compensation Board that she had not worked in any capacity since her injury the previous July. She subsequently and similarly filed paperwork with the Oneida City School District’s insurance company indicating she had not been employed.
The investigation found that between November 2015 and August of 2016, Klouda received $6,150 in Workers’ Compensation benefits to which she 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.
Klouda was arraigned in the Town of Clay Court and released pending further court action.
Inspector General Leahy Scott thanked the New York State Police for their assistance with the arrest and Onondaga District Attorney William J. Fitzpatrick 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