New York State Inspector General Letizia Tagliafierro announced the guilty plea of a New York State Department of Transportation (NYSDOT) employee on charges that he defrauded the workers’ compensation system of more than $11,000 in insurance benefits while simultaneously working at a private business selling barns and other jobs.
Joshua D. Newman, of North Road in Wilson, pled guilty to Disorderly Conduct, a violation and was sentenced to 40-hours of community service and a $250 fine. As part of the plea, Newman has paid full restitution of $11,441.55.
An investigation by Inspector General Tagliafierro found that Newman began receiving workers’ compensation benefits in July 2017 when he was injured while working for NYSDOT. Newman subsequently reported to the insurance carrier, the New York State Insurance Fund, that he had not returned to work in any capacity. However, the investigation found that Newman was working at his own business, Niagara Pole Barn, as well as doing other various work for pay. As a result of his intentional misrepresentations, Newman obtained $11,441.55 in workers’ compensation insurance benefits between August and December 2017 to which he was not entitled.
“This individual deceptively engaged in other employment and defrauded the workers’ compensation system,” said Inspector General Tagliafierro. “My office continues to partner with law enforcement across the state to find such violators and hold them accountable.”
Under State law, injured 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 Tagliafierro thanked the New York State Insurance Fund for its assistance with the investigation, the New York State Police for its assistance with the arrest, and Niagara County District Attorney Brian D. Seaman and his office for prosecuting this matter.