2005-07-01 / Community

Bayswater Woman Charged In Worker Comp Fraud

A Bayswater woman is among twenty-six city residents charged with defrauding the State Workers’ Compensation system and the New York State Insurance industry of over $500,000 over a 15-year period between 1990 and 2005 by either submitting false applications for insurance coverage or claiming they had been injured and unable to work when actually they were gainfully employed. Two of the twenty-six individuals charged include a chiropractor and a government employee.

According to District Attorney Richard Brown, the local woman charged is Maria Cecelia Jackson, 51, of 13-22 Dickens Street, who is alleged to have stolen $53,456 by filing a false application for workers’ compensation insurance on August 17, 2003 and April 26, 2004 as Maria Jackson, a waitress of Shearson Lehman Brothers and stated that she injured her back, hips, left ankle and leg as a result of a slip and fall while on the job and denied work activity since the date of injury.

A computer check of WCIG revealed that the defendant had been classified as permanently disabled by the Workers Compensation Board in 1994 and further investigation revealed that she had been employed by Logan Bus Company using the name Cecilia Jackson with a different social security number as a bus aide/matron since 1999 earning approximately $300 per week.

Brown, in announcing the indictments, said, “The defendants are alleged to have cheated other workers and employers, as well, by making application for and collecting benefits to which they were not entitled. 

The Workers’ Compensation system was established for the protection and benefit of all working persons with legitimate needs. When any individual cheats the system and undermines its worthy purposes he or she will be vigorously prosecuted.”

Superintendent Howard Mills said, “These individuals were allegedly engaging in fraudulent activities that contribute to higher insurance premiums for all New Yorkers. The New York State Insurance Department’s Frauds Bureau worked closely with the Queens District Attorney’s Office in investigating these cases and we applaud today’s news because insurance fraud is a pervasive crime that requires a sustained and collaborative statewide effort to combat.”

The defendants have been variously charged with Grand Larceny in the Second and Third Degree, Insurance Fraud in the Second, Third and Fourth Degree, Criminal Possession Of A Forged Instrument in the Second Degree, Forgery in the Second Degree, Falsifying Business Records in the First Degree, Offering a False Instrument for Filing in the First Degree and Sections 114 and 96 of the Workers’ Compensation Law. 

They face up to 15 years in prison if convicted.

District Attorney Brown said that the investigation began in October 2003 when insurance carriers including One Beacon Insurance and the New York State Insurance Fund contacted the New York State Insurance Department with allegations of insurance and workers’ compensation fraud and evidence of alleged wrongdoing by numerous individuals and referred the matter to the District Attorney’s Economic Crimes Bureau for prosecution.

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