A man was arrested yesterday for committing Workers’ Compensation fraud over a period of time in the Town of Newburgh.
Jason Vega, age 48 of Marlboro, was arrested by the Multi-Agency White Collar Crime Task Force on Thursday, April 13, 2023. He was charged with Grand Larceny in the 3rd degree and Fraudulent Practices.
Vega was arrested and released on an appearance ticket thanks to 2019 bail legislation that allows most accused criminals to walk free.
The arrest stemmed from a series of incidents that occurred in the Town of Newburgh between February 5, 2021 and July 3, 2021. According to Orange County District Attorney David M. Hoovler, Vega presented medical reports indicating he was unable to perform certain physical functions and movements. The reports were in support of an application for Workers’ Compensation benefits. Vega claimed to be severely limited in his physical abilities, including his ability to walk.
Just a few hours after Vega presented the medical reports to an insurer, he was seen at a hardware store lifting and throwing heavy bags of stove pellets, Hoovler stated.
As a result of the application, Vega received in excess of $19,000 that he was not entitled to, prosecutors accused.
Hoovler thanked the New York State Inspector General’s Office who jointly investigated the case with the newly formed Orange County White Collar Crime Task Force. The multi-agency Task Force, which includes investigators from the Orange County District Attorney’s Office, the Orange County Sheriff’s Office and several other local police agencies including the Town of Newburgh Police Department and Town of Woodbury Police Department, was created in March 2023 to focus on enhancing the investigation and prosecution of public corruption and financial crimes.
The Task Force’s mandate includes the investigation of residential contractor fraud; crimes involving public integrity, public corruption, and ethics violations; embezzlement and other complex theft cases, crimes against revenue; wage theft and labor law violations.
“White collar crime is insidious and affects all of the hard-working members of our community,” said District Attorney David M. Hoovler. “Workers’ Compensation is an important benefit for those who are legitimately unable to work because of injury. However, the manipulation of this benefit for personal greed is the antithesis of the intent of the system. Complicated investigations such as this one are the hallmarks of the Task Force, which does important work to reinforce the public’s trust.”
Orange County Sheriff Paul Arteta added, “Workers’ compensation fraud has a detrimental impact on businesses, business owners, and their employees. When we created this Joint White Collar Crime Task Force, these were the results we were anticipating. We will continue to investigate these types of crimes and hold those who abuse the system accountable.”
New York State Inspector General Lucy Lang noted, “When a person defrauds the Workers’ Compensation system it harms all hardworking New Yorkers. Safeguarding this system is essential to ensure that it is available to those who truly need it and a vital part of my office’s work. I extend my gratitude to the Orange County District Attorney’s Office for partnering with my office to ensure that those who take advantage of this vital system are held accountable. I especially thank my dedicated team who investigated this case, including Attorney-in-Charge of Workers’ Compensation Bryan Richmond and Investigative Counsel Alexis Osborne.”