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Post date: November 4 2015

A.G. Schneiderman & I.G. Leahy Scott Announce Guilty Plea of NYS Department of Transportation Employee in Workers’ Compensation Fraud Case

Corey Cragnolin Fraudulently Obtained Nearly $10K in Worker’s Compensation Benefits 

Schneiderman: We Will Keep Working to Root Out Workers’ Compensation Fraud and Hold Dishonest Recipients Accountable

ROCHESTER – Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman and Inspector General Catherine Leahy Scott today announced the guilty plea of Corey Cragnolin, a New York State Department of Transportation employee, for fraudulently obtaining nearly $10,000 in Workers’ Compensation benefits over a period of approximately eight months. Cragnolin today entered a guilty plea before The Honorable Caroline Morrison in Rochester City Court to the charge of Attempted Fraudulent Practices, a class A misdemeanor.  As part of a plea agreement, Cragnolin will resign from the Department of Transportation and will be sentenced to three years of probation. Cragnolin will also pay $9,940.49 in restitution to cover the costs of the Workers’ Compensation benefits that he was not entitled to, but received.

“Those who defraud our state’s Workers’ Compensation program take money out of the pockets of honest, hardworking New Yorkers who rely on those funds to help them get by after they’ve been injured on the job,” Attorney General Schneiderman said. “My office will keep working to root out Workers’ Compensation fraud and hold dishonest recipients accountable.”

“This State employee deceived and took advantage of a system meant to assist those unable to work because of an illness or injury, which is inexcusable” said Inspector General Leahy Scott. “I will vigorously pursue anybody who defrauds the Workers’ Compensation benefits system at the expense of honest, hard-working New Yorkers.”

Cragnolin admitted today to falsifying documents that he submitted to the New York State Insurance Fund, by stating on those documents that he was not working in any capacity while accepting Workers’ Compensation benefits, when he was, in fact, working.  Between September 2013 and May 2014, Cragnolin received Workers’ Compensation benefits for an injury he claimed he suffered while at work.  Cragnolin received those benefits in part because he claimed he could not work due to his injury. 

The charge filed against Cragnolin details that during this time period, Cragnolin was running his own home improvement and contracting business, which included repairing roofs, cleaning and repairing chimneys, cleaning and repairing gutters, among other projects.  Despite running and working at his own home improvement and contracting business, Cragnolin claimed on at least five forms that he submitted to NYSIF, as required for his Workers’ Compensation case, that he was not working in any capacity.  Because of these false representations, Cragnolin received $9,940.40 in Worker’s Compensation benefits to which he was not entitled.

The joint investigation was conducted with Investigative Counsel Katie McCutcheon and Investigator Dale Richter of the New York State Office of the Inspector General and former Senior Investigator of the New York State Insurance Fund, Thomas Wall. Attorney General Schneiderman thanks the Office of the Inspector General and the New York State Insurance fund for their assistance in the investigation.

Assistant Attorneys General Mary Gorman and Daniel Bajger of the Attorney General’s Public Integrity Bureau are prosecuting the case.  The Public Integrity Bureau is led by Bureau Chief Daniel Cort and Deputy Bureau Chief Stacy Aronowitz.  The investigation was handled by Investigator David Buske of the Investigations Bureau, with support from Supervising Investigator Richard Doyle, Deputy Bureau Chief Antoine Karam, and Bureau Chief Dominick Zarrella.  Executive Deputy Attorney General Kelly Donovan leads the Criminal Justice Division.

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