HUDSON VALLEY BUSINESS OWNER STOLE MORE THAN $100,000 IN WORKERS’ COMPENSATION BENEFITS WHILE TRAINING DOGS
ALBANY – New York State Inspector General Catherine Leahy Scott announced today the arrest of a Hudson Valley woman who spent years running her own dog training business while collecting more than $100,000 in workers’ compensation benefits and claiming that she was not employed or working in any capacity whatsoever.
Elizabeth McKeon, 60, of Pleasant Glen, Poughquag, was charged today with Grand Larceny in the Second Degree, Insurance Fraud in the Second Degree and the Workers’ Compensation Law crime of Fraudulent Practices, all felonies.
An investigation by Inspector General Leahy Scott found that McKeon, who was classified as permanently partially disabled following a 2007 work-related injury while employed as a field technician for Verizon, Inc., has been running a $50 per-hour dog training business from late 2010 through this spring. Throughout that period, McKeon told her workers’ compensation insurance carrier that she was not employed or working in any capacity but was nonetheless observed several times by investigators actively conducting dog-training activities for her business, was a certified professional dog trainer and was a member of the Association of Professional Dog Trainers.
While running her Poughquag business, 4 The Love of Dogs and Pets LLC, McKeon collected $350 in worker’s compensation benefits each week for a total of $103,530 in benefits to which she was not entitled.
“This defendant increased her income with a six-figure supplement from the workers’ compensation system to which she was not entitled,” said Inspector General Leahy Scott. “These benefits are meant to protect honest hard-working New Yorkers and I will continue using all of the resources at my disposal to pursue anyone who abuses and defrauds the workers’ compensation system.”
McKeon was arraigned in the Beekman Town Court and sent to the Dutchess County Jail in lieu of $2,500 cash or $5,000 bond bail pending a hearing tomorrow in the Town Court.
Inspector General Leahy Scott thanked the New York State Police for assisting with the arrest and Dutchess County District Attorney William V. Grady and his office for prosecuting this matter.
The defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty in a court of law. ### The New York State Office of the Workers’ Compensation Fraud Inspector General investigates fraud, abuse and/or illegal acts against the New York State Workers’ Compensation system, including fraud by medical service providers, employers seeking to evade appropriate Workers’ Compensation charges, and employees who fabricate injuries to fraudulently receive system benefits. Complaints and referrals are kept confidential. We can be reached by calling toll free: 1-800-367-4448, utilizing our online complaint form at http://www.ig.ny.gov or sending an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org. You also can write to our office at: Office of the Workers’ Compensation Fraud Inspector General, Empire State Plaza, Agency Building 2, 16th Floor, Albany, New York 12223