Have legal questions? Get a Call Back Within 25 Seconds

Proners Head

Firm Blog

Have you been injured?

Prosecutions In Workers’ Compensation Fraud Matters

Two Elmira men were arraigned on charges of workers’ compensation fraud, according to New York State Inspector General Catherine Leahy Scott, but the real problem still exists.
56-year-old James Hooks, Jr. was charged with a number of offenses, including third degree larceny, after he allegedly collected almost $25,000 in workers’ compensation benefits that he was not entitled to receive. Authorities state that Mr. Hooks was working at a grocery store on East 5th Street while he consistently told the insurance company that he was unemployed and unable to work because of a 1994 job injury. 53-year-old John L. VanRensselaer was similarly charged. Prosecutors allege that he shut down his auto mechanic business in 2009, but continued earning money in 2013 and 2014.
Ms. Scott boldly declared that she would “continue to use the resources of my office to pursue those who abuse the workers’ compensation system at the expense of hard-working New Yorkers.”
Employer Fraud
Ms. Scott’s discourse on fraud rings hollow when considering the massive amount of employer fraud that sucks money out of the workers’ compensation system, because these fraudsters are almost never caught or punished. While employee fraud, like the incidents described above, is a factor in only 1 percent of claims, employer fraud in New York costs the system hundreds of millions of dollars every year.
One of the main problems is there is little or no financial incentive for companies to do the right thing. Even if they are caught, which is very rare except in a few Southern states, the fines are almost always less than the amount of money the company saved through fraudulent practices. So, fraud scams like these are commonplace:

  • Employee Misclassification: Most employer characterize as many workers as possible as “independent contractors,” because they do not have to withhold taxes and do not have to obtain workers’ compensation insurance.
  • Job Misclassification: To lower premium payments, employers might classify high-risk workers, like roofers, as low-risk workers, like office clerks.
  • Illegal Payments: Again, to keep premiums low, an employer often offers to pay an injured worker’s medical bills in cash if the victim agrees not to file a claim.

Injured workers are covered by no-fault insurance that pays cash benefits for expenses like medical bills and lost wages.
Benefits are available, but the insurance company does not give them away freely. For a free consultation with attorneys who help you claim the benefits you deserve, contact our office. You have a limited amount of time to act.

  • 01

  • 02

  • 03

More Press

In The

In The Press ThumbnailPlay Button

Press

In The

In The Press ThumbnailPlay Button

Press

In The

In The Press ThumbnailPlay Button

Press

News Channel

Road Rage Incident

Mitchell Proner spoke in support of NYC motorcycle riders and called on NY lawmakers and police not to overreact to a highly publicized road rage incident or to let that incident cast all motorcyclists in a bad light.

News Channel

Hit and Run

Attorney Mitchell Proner was on hand when the motorist accused of hitting a female jogger on a road in Central Islip appeared in a New York courtroom to answer charges of leaving the scene of a fatal accident.

News Channel

Ferry Disaster

Attorney Mitchell Proner, an expert on maritime law, spoke about the similarities between the Costa Concordia ferry disaster and the recent Indonesian ferry accident that killed at least 24 people.

Award Image
Award Image
Award Image
Award Image
Award Image
Award Image

Mitchell Proner is an amazing and very experienced trial lawyer, who takes care of his clients. He represented me in a car accident case, kept me very informed during the lengthy legal process and got me the settlement that I expected. His friendly office staff was always willing to assist and answer any questions I had. I recommend Mitchell Proner to all my friends and family!

Besides being well versed and very knowledgeable about all aspects of my case it was simply a pleasure dealing with Mr. Proner and his colleagues at Proner and Proner. In a time of hardship Mr. Proner and the staff at Proner and Proner made it very easy for us to cope with all of the legal processes which we are not accustom to. I couldn't recommend a better group of people let alone an attorney as Mitchell Proner and the staff at Proner and Proner. Thank you again for all of your assistance.

Awesome experience, excellent service, very professional and fast resolving my case. My number one attorney - definitely recommended more than once. Thank you!