Buffalo, NY – New York State Inspector General Catherine Leahy Scott recently announced the sentencing of a City of Buffalo man who defrauded the Workers’ Compensation system of nearly $10,000 in benefits to which he was not entitled because he had returned to work but continued collecting benefits as if he was not employed.
Arnold Fassbinder, 55, of Royal Avenue, Buffalo, was sentenced in Erie County Court to a three-year conditional discharge, including the condition he repay the entire amount he stole, for his guilty plea to one count of Grand Larceny in the 4th Degree, a felony.
An investigation by Inspector General Leahy Scott found that Fassbinder began receiving Workers’ Compensation benefits in July 2015 when he suffered multiple injuries after falling off a ladder while attempting to repair a roof.
By November, 2015, Fassbinder represented that he was medically cleared to resume work and he returned to his employment doing home improvements for Walden Holding Inc. in Cheektowaga, New York. After returning to his job, however, he repeatedly submitted paperwork to the New York State Insurance Fund asserting he was not working in any capacity. These falsifications enabled him to continue to receive Workers’ Compensation benefits while simultaneously earning pay at his employment. In total, he received $9,436.24 in Workers’ Compensation benefits to which he was not entitled, and which he must now pay back under the court’s restitution order.
“This defendant’s greed and hubris led to a scheme of subterfuge enabling him to supplement his income with benefit payments to which he was not entitled,” said Inspector General Leahy Scott. “I will continue dedicating the resources of my office to protect the benefits meant to assist honest, hard-working New Yorkers.”
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.
Inspector General Leahy Scott thanked the New York State Insurance Fund for their assistance with the investigation, and Erie County District Attorney John J. Flynn and his office for prosecuting this matter.
Source: NY Inspector General