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  • Dean Smith

4 NY Business Owners Under Siege – Charged with Fraud & Theft

According to Insurance Journal, an ongoing workers’ compensation fraud sweep throughout the state of New York coordinated by Inspector General Catherine Leahy Scott, in conjunction with state and local law enforcement agencies, has claimed 4 new arrests last month. This time, 3 employers and 1 employee (and separate business owner) were to blame as uncovered by the sweep.

Douglas S. Griffen, owner of Fingerlakes Excavating LLC, Roger Camby, owner of an online retail candle business by the name of Lovesoy Candles and Gifts, John A. Francher, owner of Greenbriar Home for Adults, and Steven M. Spratley, owner of Spratley and Sons Tree Surgeons, have all been indicted on workers’ compensation fraud related charges, along with several other offenses.

Griffen was officially charged with third degree grand larceny, first degree falsifying business records, as well as workers’ compensation crimes of fraudulent practices and failure to secure compensation after providing a home building company false documents stating that he had proper coverage for his workers to complete two large construction jobs (he had no coverage whatsoever).

Camby was charged with the workers’ compensation crime of fraudulent practices, second degree insurance fraud, and second degree grand larceny after investigators found out he was operating several businesses while collecting workers’ compensation benefits for an “injury” he sustained as a truck driver in 2010. Camby told the Workers’ Compensation Board that he was not working in any capacity, however, “investigators said that between early 2011 and the summer of 2013, he received more than $56,000 in workers’ comp benefits while also running a candle business, Lovesoy Candles and Gifts, as well as working as a consultant for three multi-level marketing businesses.”

Francher was charged with the workers’ compensation crime of effect of failure to secure compensation after investigators uncovered that he was operating Greenbriar Home for Adults without the coverage required for the 10 people he employed.

Spratley was charged with the workers’ compensation crime of fraudulent practices after he denied to the Workers’ Compensation Board in 2013 that a severely injured worker of his was actually an employee. The employee truly was injured in 2011 while working for Spratley and Sons Tree Surgeons and was unable to work as a result of that injury.

The New York Inspector General, Catherine Leahy Scott, announced that “The Workers’ Compensation system is meant to assist and protect employees who are unable to work due to an illness or injury, and those who abuse the system should fully expect they will be caught.”

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