NY Bartender Charged With Workers' Comp Fraud

Posted By Katz Leidman Grossman Wolfe & Freund || 7-Jan-2016

ELMIRA, NY – On Dec. 22, 2015, New York State Inspector General Catherine Leahy Scott announced the arrest of an Elmira bartender for his role in workers’ compensation fraud.

J. Hooks, Jr., 56, of Elmira, is now facing multiple criminal charges, including grand larceny in the third degree, insurance fraud in the third degree, falsifying business records in the first degree, and fraudulent practices (a workers’ compensation crime) – all felonies in New York.

Hooks is accused of collecting nearly $25,000 in workers’ compensation payments that he wasn’t legally entitled to while working as a bartender at Ramsey’s Place in Elmira, New York.

Inspector General Leahy Scott said that workers’ compensation coverage is meant to protect employees, but Hooks allegedly used it to fraudulently enrich himself.

Leahy Scott said that she will continue to use the resources in her office to pursue those who abuse the workers’ compensation system at the expense of hard-working New Yorkers.

Under state law, New York employers are required to carry workers’ compensation for their employees. Conversely, employees must be truthful about their work activities to the Workers’ Compensation Board and insurance carriers while receiving benefits.

An investigation by Leahy Scott uncovered that Hooks, who was injured while working at a grocery store in the 1990s, continued to tell his insurance company that he was not working in any capacity, when it reality he was working as a bartender at least since 2013 at Ramsey’s Place in Elmira.

Hooks’ December arrest was a part of a collaborated effort by Inspector General Leahy Scott and local and state law enforcement agencies, who are partnering in multiple investigations across New York.

Workers’ compensation fraud has far-reaching effects; it contributes to increased premiums, greater workloads for co-workers and a reduction in workforce productivity overall.

Have a New York workers’ compensation case? Call (888) 250-5427 for a free case evaluation!