New York authorities say a state psychiatric center employee who received nearly $3,000 in workers’ compensation benefits for work-related injury claims was caught kayaking in Puerto Rico.
The Inspector General’s Office says the 30-year-old man applied for benefits in 2016, claiming back injuries kept him from working at his job as a security treatment assistant at the Central New York Psychiatric Center in Marcy.
Investigators say that during the time he supposedly couldn’t work, he was kayaking in Puerto Rico or vacationing with his girlfriend in California.
Ryan Haley, of Rome, faces charges, including grand larceny and insurance fraud. Investigators say he also has been charged in an attack on a patient.
An investigation by Inspector General Leahy Scott found that on two separate occasions in 2016, Haley applied for Workers’ Compensation benefits claiming an inability to work based on an October 2015 work-related back injury. Because of the alleged fraud in which he claimed re-injuries, Haley received $2,286.05 in benefits to which he was not entitled while in Puerto Rico in April, and $407.80 in benefits while in California that February.
Both vacations were planned and paid for before Haley took time off and put in for
Workers’ Compensation benefits.
In addition, while in Puerto Rico, Haley signed a medical release form for the kayak excursion certifying that he was physically fit and had no back injury.
“This defendant is accused of a contemptuous fraud in which he feigns being too injured to work while paddling a kayak on a Caribbean retreat,” said Inspector General Leahy Scott.
Haley was arraigned and released. It couldn’t be determined from authorities if he has a lawyer.
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