Workers’ Comp Claim on Wrong Eye Leads to Fraud Charges in New York

January 16, 2009

A New York man who hurt his eye on the job faces insurance fraud charges after authorities say he falsely filed for workers compensation benefits — on the wrong eye.

Authorities say Clyde Stroman, 53, of Elmira, received workers’ compensation benefits for an injury he sustained to his right eye in August 2008 when he attempted to restrain a client while working as a division youth aide at the MacCormick Secure Center in Brooktondale.

According to investigators, during a subsequent eye examination, Stroman learned he may have unrelated damage to his other eye. He allegedly tried to the change the injured body part on his claim to his left eye to gain workers’ compensation coverage. Investigators said Stroman allegedly attempted to convince the New York State Insurance Fund and his employer that the initial treating doctor’s reports identified the wrong eye as being injured, including giving a detailed, sworn written statement to that effect.

As a result, Stroman received $2,860 to which he was not entitled. Investigators said the injury to Mr. Stroman’s right eye most likely would not have resulted in any lost time from work.

Stroman faces charges of falsifying business records and violating the workers’ compensation law.

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