Five Points Correctional Facility
January 31, 2024

DOCCS Officer Sentenced After Pleading Guilty To Submitting False Leave Notes For Medical Appointments That Never Occurred

DOCCS Officer Sentenced After Pleading Guilty To Submitting False Leave Notes For Medical Appointments That Never Occurred

New York State Inspector General Lucy Lang announced the sentencing earlier today of Stephanie Saber, a former New York State correction officer, who submitted forged medical documentation to improperly obtain sick leave benefits from the State.

Saber, 29, of Lewis County, New York, who had previously pled guilty on November 15, 2023, to the felony offense of Offering a False Instrument for Filing in the First Degree, under Penal Law §175.35, was sentenced in Seneca County Court by the Hon. Barry Porsch to five years of felony probation. Seneca County District Attorney John Nabinger appeared on behalf of the People.

The Inspector General’s Investigation, which was prompted by a referral from the New York State Department of Corrections and Community Supervision (DOCCS), revealed that Saber, who was employed as a correction officer at Five Points Correctional Facility in Romulus, NY, had submitted thirteen false medical notes to justify absences between December 2021 and July 2022. Upon questioning by OIG investigators, Saber admitted that she had created fake notes purporting to be from legitimate medical practitioners to excuse prior absence from work.  

Saber was terminated from DOCCS during the investigation.

“The conduct of this correction officer abusing sick leave benefits is particularly egregious because she was in a prime position to know the impact that shortages in correctional facility staffing pose to the safety of staff and incarcerated individuals alike," said New York State Inspector General Lucy Lang. “By forging these notes to justify unwarranted sick days, she betrayed not only her oath to New York State but her colleagues.”

“This sentencing sends a clear message that the Department does not tolerate fraudulent misconduct from staff and will refer any case to the Office of the Inspector General that defrauds New Yorkers,” said New York State Department of Corrections and Community Supervision Acting Commissioner Daniel F. Martuscello. “As we face critical staffing shortages, this type of behavior further exacerbates the difficulties of this job and does a disservice to the hardworking staff who show up day in and day out to help keep our communities safe. I commend our Office of Special Investigations for their diligence on this case and thank the Office of the Inspector General for their partnership.”

Inspector General Lang thanked the members of her staff responsible for handling this important matter, including Investigative Counsel Kerry Buske and Investigator Joel Mercer, under the supervision of Chief Investigator Martin Stanford and Deputy Inspector General for the Western Regional Offices Jeffrey Hagen.

Inspector General Lang also expressed her gratitude to the DOCCS Office of Special Investigations for their cooperation in conducting the investigation, the New York State Police for assisting in Saber’s arrest, and District Attorney Nabinger and his staff for their partnership in the prosecution of this case.

If you suspect a state employee has committed fraud, you can file a complaint on our website IG.NY.GOV or by calling 1 (800) DO-RIGHT.

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