December 3, 2021
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Albany, NY

Wayne County Woman Pleads Guilty To Stealing $15,000 In Workers’ Compensation Benefits Payable To Her Deceased Mother

Wayne County Woman Pleads Guilty To Stealing $15,000 In Workers’ Compensation Benefits Payable To Her Deceased Mother
New York State Inspector General Lucy Lang today announced the guilty plea of a Newark woman who stole $15,027 in workers’ compensation benefits by abusing her role as power of attorney for her late mother.

Michelle M. Ficarro, 55, of Newark, pleaded guilty on December 1 in Newark Village Court to Petit Larceny, after previously being arrested and arraigned on two counts of Grand Larceny in the third degree. Ficarro will be required pay full restitution as a condition of the plea. She is due to return to Newark Village Court on March 2, 2022, for sentencing.

A joint investigation by the NYS Department of Financial Services, the New York State Police, and the New York State Inspector General’s Office found that Ficarro’s mother passed away on August 20, 2019. However, Ficarro obtained and stole workers’ compensation funds intended for her mother from August 20, 2019 to August 4, 2020 from Bedivere Insurance Company totaling $10,683, and from August 20, 2019 to July 27, 2020 from the New York State Insurance Fund totaling $4,344. All funds were issued to Ficarro’s deceased mother, Clarabelle Beaumont but stolen by Ficarro in her role as power of attorney.

In total, Ficarro defrauded the workers’ compensation system by stealing $15,027 in benefits to which she was not entitled.

“Ms. Ficarro abused her position as her late mother’s power of attorney to take advantage of the workers’ compensation system,” said Inspector General Lang. “We will continue to protect the integrity of this important social safety net and ensure that funds are delivered to those who are truly in need.”

Inspector General Lang thanked the New York State Department of Financial Services - Criminal Investigation Bureau and the New York State Police for their partnership in the investigation and Wayne County District Attorney Michael Calarco and his office for prosecuting the matter.

The matter was handled by Investigative Counsel Jill Florkowski and Investigator Maren Robinson-Traber under the supervision of Deputy Inspector General for the Western Regional Office Jeff Hagen, Chief of Investigations for the Western Regional Office Charles Tirone and Senior Investigative Counsel Bryan Richmond. Wayne County Assistant District Attorneys John J. Ferlicca and Tracey Fox worked with the Inspector General’s Office and facilitated the plea and forthcoming restitution order.

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