ELMIRA, N.Y. — An Elmira–based home health aide who was paid more than $6,000 to care for an elderly workers’-compensation recipient, but never showed up for hundreds of hours she was supposed to work, has pled guilty and been sentenced.
Denise Lewis, 45, of Elmira, pled guilty in mid-May, to insurance fraud in the third degree, a felony, and paid $6,600 in restitution. On July 18, the presiding judge, Richard W. Rich, Jr., sentenced her to a three-year conditional discharge, according to a news release from the Offices of the New York State Inspector General.
Lewis worked for a now-deceased elderly and disabled workers’-compensation recipient at her Chemung County residence. Lewis claimed to have provided health-care services to the person during certain hours, but eyewitnesses and surveillance conducted by members of the Inspector General’s offices confirmed she was never present at the individual’s home during these times. Between October 2017 and July 2019, Lewis submitted more than 20 fraudulent timesheets to a third-party claims administrator for payment and was paid over $6,000 for more than 400 hours not worked.
“In order to fulfill its vital purpose, the Workers’ Compensation system requires the honesty of all,” New York State Inspector General Lucy Lang said in the release. “We will continue to vigorously investigate and root out fraud to protect the system for vulnerable New Yorkers who rely on all its benefits.”