A.G. Schneiderman Announces Indictment Of State Detention Center's Private Medical Provider Staff For Alleged Theft From State

News from Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 17, 2017

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Staff At Brooklyn Juvenile Detention Center Each Allegedly Stole Over $50,000 By Falsifying Timesheets

BROOKLYN – Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman and New York State Inspector General Catherine Leahy Scott and announced today the indictments and arrest of two staff members of a State juvenile detention center’s private medical services provider for allegedly stealing and assisting in the theft of more than $50,000 each.

Roy Hammonds, 64, of Nyack, and Patricia Armstrong, 67, of Brooklyn, were indicted by a Brooklyn Grand Jury and subsequently arrested and arraigned today for Grand Larceny in the Second Degree, a felony. Armstrong was additionally indicted on eight counts of Falsifying Business Records in the First Degree, also a felony.

Hammonds, a physician’s assistant, and Armstrong, a nursing supervisor, were accused of taking more than $50,000 each. Both are employees of Correctional Medical Care (“CMC”), a company that provides medical staff to New York State correctional facilities, including the Ella McQueen Reception Center in Brooklyn. The Ella McQueen Center is a juvenile detention center reception facility run by the New York State Office of Children and Family Services (“OCFS”). An investigation by Inspector General Leahy Scott found that between January 2011 and December 2015, Armstrong completed her own and Hammonds time records and submitted them to CMC’s headquarters for payment. The indictment against Armstrong alleges that she submitted employee timesheets containing false information to CMC. Under contract with the State, CMC directly pays its employees and is reimbursed by the State subsequent to the submission of invoices.

“As we allege, the defendants not only defrauded the state, they stole medical resources that are meant to serve vulnerable youth facing urgent medical needs” said Attorney General Schneiderman. “We’ll continue to work with our partners to uncover and eliminate these types of fraudulent schemes.”

“Instead of treating vulnerable youth, these defendants were treating themselves to a no-show job,” said Catherine Leahy Scott, New York State Inspector General. “These two long-term colleagues took advantage of their supervisory roles in a State facility and violated the public trust. I will continue using all the resources of my office and working with my law enforcement partners to pursue anyone who defrauds taxpayers and steals public funds.”

Hammonds and Armstrong were arraigned before Supreme Court Justice Danny Chun in New York State Supreme Court in Brooklyn. Both defendants were released on their own recognizance. Hammonds is due back in court October 18. Armstrong is due back in court on October 25.

The charges against the defendants are merely accusations and they are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty in a court of law. If convicted, the defendants face up to fifteen years in prison. 

The Attorney General thanked the Office of the New York State Inspector General for valuable assistance in this investigation. 

The investigation was conducted by Investigator Steven Broomer, Supervising Investgator Michael Leahy, and Deputy Chief John McManus of the OAG Investigations Bureau.  The Investigations Bureau is led by Chief Dominick Zarrella.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant Attorney General Brian McDonald of the Public Integrity Bureau. The Public Integrity Bureau is led by Bureau Chief Daniel Cort and Deputy Bureau Chief Stacy Aronowitz. The Division of Criminal Justice is led by Chief Deputy Attorney General Jason Brown.

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