Albany, NY – New York State Inspector General Catherine Leahy Scott recently announced the arrest of a Fort Plains resident on charges he defrauded the Workers’ Compensation system by more than $20,000.
Charles Brownell, 46, formerly of Little Falls, was charged with Grand Larceny in the Third Degree and Insurance Fraud in the Third Degree, both felonies.
An investigation by Inspector General Leahy Scott found that Brownell had been collecting Workers’ Compensation benefits since sustaining an injury in 2013 as a truck driver for a Palantine Bridge trucking and hauling company. In the years since, he repeatedly reported to medical examiners and the Workers’ Compensation insurer that he was not working in any capacity and was unable to drive more than short distances when in fact he was working as a long haul truck driver for a Little Falls business. As a result of Brownell’s misrepresentations, he collected more than $20,000 in Workers’ Compensation benefits to which he was not entitled.
“This defendant falsely represented his employment status in order to enrich himself with benefits to which he was not entitled,” said Inspector General Scott. “These critical benefits are meant to help honest workers and I will use the resources of my offices to help assure they are not stolen.”
Brownell was arraigned in Little Falls Town Court and is due to reappear August 21.
Inspector General Leahy Scott thanked the New York State Police for their assistance with the arrest and Herkimer County District Attorney Jeffrey S. Carpenter 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