New York State Inspector General Letizia Tagliafierro today announced the arrest of a New York State Department of Transportation employee on charges that he defrauded the workers’ compensation system and stole over $11,000 in insurance benefits to which he was not entitled.
Joshua D. Newman, of North Road in Wilson, was arrested and charged yesterday with Grand Larceny in the third degree; Insurance Fraud in the third degree; Offering a False Instrument for Filing in the first degree; and violation of Workers’ Compensation Law section 114(1), Penalties for Fraudulent Practices; all felonies.
An investigation by Inspector General Tagliafierro found that Newman began receiving workers’ compensation benefits in July 2017 when he was injured while working for the New York State Department of Transportation. 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.
“The defendant’s deliberate deception to unlawfully obtain workers’ compensation benefits is yet another example of wrongdoing that compromises the integrity of an important system to protect the economic stability of truly injured workers,” said Inspector General Tagliafierro. “My office will continue to diligently combat such fraud to both hold wrongdoers accountable and deter further abuse of the system.”
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.
Newman is scheduled to appear in court in the Town of Wilson on September 26, 2019.
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 Caroline Wojtaszek and her office for prosecuting this matter.
The defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty in a court of law.