Gavel, Bookcase
October 30, 2023

DOCCS Employee Pleads Guilty to Felony After Submitting Forged Doctors' Notes

DOCCS Employee Pleads Guilty to Felony After Submitting Forged Doctors' Notes

New York State Inspector General Lucy Lang announced today that Kathleen Baeder of Essex County pled guilty to Attempted Criminal Possession of a Forged Instrument, a felony, after submitting over two dozen forged doctors’ notes to fraudulently obtain Sick Leave benefits. Baeder was sentenced to 5 years probation and was ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $4,593 by New York State Supreme Court Justice Richard Meyer.

This investigation, conducted in conjunction with our partners at the New York State Police and the Department of Corrections and Community Supervision’s Office of Special Investigations, uncovered that from approximately October 21, 2021 to February 2, 2022, Ms. Baeder, a civilian employee at Adirondack Correctional Facility, submitted 28 forged doctors’ notes to the Department of Corrections and Community Supervision. Her submission of these forged notes resulted in Ms. Baeder fraudulently extending her sick leave over a four-month period and thus receiving over $4,500 in benefits to which she was not entitled.

“This case serves as an important reminder of why we build strong partnerships with law enforcement and state agencies,” said New York State Inspector General Lucy Lang. “The work and swift communication between the Department of Corrections and Community Supervision, New York State Police, and the Offices of the Inspector General, led to the apprehension and prosecution of a state employee abusing workplace benefits and violating the public trust.” 

“Any Individual who violates the public’s trust by engaging in criminal activity, will be aggressively pursued and referred for criminal prosecution,” said DOCCS Acting Commissioner Daniel J. Martuscello III. “Illegal action such as this negatively impacts the hard working staff who perform their duties in a professional manner, often under difficult circumstances, to achieve the mission of the Department and provide public safety for the state. DOCCS appreciates the cooperation of the various agencies that resulted in the criminal prosecution of this former employee.” 

The matter was handled by Bryan Richmond, Attorney-in-Charge for Workers’ Compensation Fraud for the State Inspector General. Inspector General Lang thanked the New York State Troopers and the NYS Department of Corrections and Community Supervision for their partnership.

Inspector General Lang is also grateful to the Essex County District Attorney’s Office for prosecuting the matter.

If you suspect benefit fraud is or has taken place, you can file a complaint on our website IG.NY.GOV or by calling 1 (800) DO-RIGHT.