Safety and OSHA News

Employee on vacation kayaking while on workers’ comp: Now he faces fraud charges

Authorities have arrested a psychiatric center employee on charges he defrauded the workers’ compensation system while kayaking on a Caribbean vacation. 

Ryan Haley of Rome, NY, is a security hospital treatment assistant at Central New York Psychiatric Center and claimed an October 2015 work-related back injury.

In 2016, Haley took a vacation in Puerto Rico that included kayaking and worked in California. The New York State Inspector General’s office says Haley had claimed re-injuries during those periods and received a total of $2,693 in workers’ comp benefits to which he wasn’t entitled during his trips to Puerto Rico and California.

The IG’s office says Haley signed a medical release form for the kayak excursion certifying that he was physically fit and had no back injury. Investigators also say both trips were planned and paid for before Haley took time off and applied for workers’ comp benefits.

The investigation also found that in May 2017, Haley initiated a physical confrontation with a patient at Central New York Psychiatric Center. Authorities claim Haley put his arms around the patient’s shoulders and neck and forced the patient to the ground. Charges include one count involving alleged patient abuse.

Haley faces six felony charges:

  • grand larceny
  • falsifying business records
  • insurance fraud
  • endangering the welfare of an incompetent or physically disabled person, and
  • two counts of the workers’ compensation crime of fraudulent practices.

Haley was suspended from his job without pay after his arrest, according to the New York Office of Mental Health. He was released pending court appearances.

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