City worker sentenced on fraud charge

He gets 3 years of probation, owes $15,000

A city of Amsterdam employee was sentenced to three years’ probation and must pay back $15,000 in workers’ compensation funds that authorities said he had been fraudulently collecting since 2014.

State Inspector General Catherine Leahy Scott announced Wednesday that William Forte, 51, of Coolidge Road in Amsterdam, pleaded guilty in City Court to attempted fraudulent practices.

Leahy Scott’s investigation found that Forte was employed as a truck driver in 2012 when he purportedly injured his left arm and both hands and began receiving workers’ compensation coverage, according to a news release. Leahy Scott alleges that Forte subsequently got a job with the city.

“Since the summer of 2014, Forte has been receiving weekly workers’ compensation payments and repeatedly asserted to his doctors and the insurance company that he was not working in any capacity,” the release said. “Contrary to his assertions, Forte was indeed an employee working for the city of Amsterdam and had been observed using his purportedly injured arm lifting tools, painting and climbing ladders.”

It’s unclear if Forte is still employed by the city.

Leahy Scott said Forte sought to keep his city job secret in order to enrich himself with benefits for which he was not entitled.

“I will continue to use my office to relentlessly pursue anyone who steals critical benefits to which they are not entitled,” she said.

The news release said that under state law, employers are required to maintain workers’ compensation coverage for their employees. Employees are expected to provide truthful information regarding their work activity to insurance carriers and the Workers Compensation Board during the time they are receiving benefits.

Leahy Scott thanked the city of Amsterdam for assisting with the investigation, the Amsterdam Police Department for assisting with the arrests, and Montgomery County District Attorney Kelli P. McCoski and her office for prosecuting the matter. 

Categories: -News-, Schenectady County

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