Albany, NY (WorkersCompensation.com) - New York State Workers' Compensation Fraud Inspector General Catherine Leahy Scott today announced the arrest of a City of Rochester woman on charges that she defrauded the Workers' Compensation system by more than $5,000 by signing and cashing benefit checks sent to her deceased grandmother.
Brandy R. Sheppard, 36, of Rochester, was arraigned today in the City of Rochester Court on charges of Grand Larceny in the Third Degree, and three counts of Criminal Possession of a Forged Instrument in the Second Degree, all felonies.
An investigation by Workers' Compensation Fraud Inspector General Leahy Scott found that between December 2015 and October 2016 Sheppard cashed 24 Workers' Compensation benefit checks which were mailed to her grandmother, after her grandmother passed away on November 17, 2015. The investigation revealed that Sheppard endorsed each check, often forging her grandmother's signature as well, to be cashed for her own benefit.
In total, Sheppard defrauded the Workers' Compensation system by stealing $5,364.48 in benefits to which she was not entitled.
“This defendant exploited her grandmother's death to greedily enrich herself with benefits to which she was not entitled,” said Workers' Compensation Fraud Inspector General Leahy Scott. “My office and my law enforcement partners will use all the resources at our disposal to pursue anyone who defrauds the critical Workers' Compensation system that is solely meant to protect hard-working New Yorkers injured on the job.”
Following arraignment this morning, Sheppard was released pending her next court appearance on April 12, 2019.
Workers' Compensation Fraud Inspector General Leahy Scott thanked the New York State Police for their assistance with the arrest, and Monroe County District Attorney Sandra Doorley and her office for prosecuting this matter.
The defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty in a court of law.