Albany, NY – New York State Inspector General Catherine Leahy Scott recently announced the arrest of a Central New York Psychiatric Center employee on charges he defrauded Workers’ Compensation and falsified documents to obtain additional time off and claim benefits while actually kayaking on a Caribbean vacation or working in California with his girlfriend. He was also charged with abusing a patient at the facility.
Ryan P. Haley, 30, of Rome, New York, a Security Hospital Treatment Assistant at the psychiatric center in Marcy, was charged with Grand Larceny in the Fourth Degree, Falsifying Business Records in the First Degree, Insurance Fraud in the Fourth Degree, Endangering the Welfare of an Incompetent or Physically Disabled Person in the First Degree, and two counts of the Workers’ Compensation crime of Fraudulent Practices, all felonies.
An investigation by Inspector General Leahy Scott found that on two separate occasions in 2016, Haley applied for Workers’ Compensation benefits claiming an inability to work based on an October 2015 work-related back injury. During both instances, Haley was instead either enjoying a kayak excursion vacation in Puerto Rico or working with his girlfriend while also vacationing in California. Because of the alleged fraud in which he
claimed re-injuries, Haley received $2,286.05 in benefits to which he was not entitled while in Puerto Rico in April, and $407.80 in benefits while in California that February.
Both vacations were planned and paid for before Haley took time off and put in for Workers’ Compensation benefits. In addition, while in Puerto Rico, Haley signed a medical release form for the kayak excursion certifying that he was physically fit and had no back injury. Separately, the investigation also found that Haley, on May 28, 2017, was engaged in a verbal argument with a patient at the Central New York Psychiatric Center when he initiated a physical confrontation, put his arms around the patient’s shoulders and neck, and forced the patient to the ground.
“This defendant is accused of a contemptuous fraud in which he feigns being too injured to work while paddling a kayak on a Caribbean retreat,” said Inspector General Leahy Scott. “Moreover, with utter disregard for the critical responsibilities of his job, he allegedly attacked one of the very patients for whom he was meant to care. I will continue to dedicate the resources of my office to protect the benefits meant to assist honest, hardworking New Yorkers.”
Haley was arraigned and released pending reappearances on the respective charges on Wednesday, August 9, in Marcy Town Court, and on August 16 in Lee Town Court.
Inspector General Leahy Scott thanked the New York State Police for their assistance with the arrest, and Oneida County District Attorney Scott D. McNamara and his office for prosecuting this matter.
Source: NY Inspector General