Two New York Contractors Face Workers’ Comp Fraud Charges

August 5, 2008

A New York contractor and the sub-contractor he hired are both facing charges of workers’ compensation fraud following their arrests by New York State Police.

Police arrested Phillip Gish, 70, of East Aurora, N.Y. on July 22, charging him with insurance fraud for allegedly concealing the hiring of Michael Hanson, who was collecting workers’ compensation benefits from the New York State Insurance Fund (NYSIF).

Investigators said Gish, owner of Gish Construction, hired Hanson as a home remodeler, but allegedly concealed his employment as a sub-contractor during a NYSIF audit.

NYSIF’s Division of Confidential Investigations found that Hanson collected workers’ compensation benefits for a prior job-related injury at the same time he worked for Gish. Investigators said Hanson returned signed statements to NYSIF indicating he had not returned to work.

Hanson, 44, of Kenmore, N.Y., was also arrested and faces charges of offering a false instrument for filing and insurance fraud.

CEO David P. Wehner said NYSIF “continues to aggressively pursue workers’ compensation fraud to another result, the arrest and prosecution of fraud profiteers.”

Source: New York State Insurance Fund

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