A Washington County man who collected $83,000 in workers' compensation benefits by claiming a back injury prevented him from working was arrested after investigators found that his reported injuries didn't stop him from skydiving.
Jacob H. Bancroft, 28, of East Labarge St., Hudson Falls, claimed he was unable to work because of back pain he suffered from working as a press operator. He collected lost wage and medical benefits from First Cardinal and Sun Life Insurance for about a year and a half, starting in February 2007.
During an investigation by Jaclyn Oreshan of the New York State Insurance Department's Frauds Bureau, Bancroft was observed engaging in numerous physical activities. These included running a construction company, volunteer firefighting, hiking and serving as a member on a hot air balloon team. Surveillance videos were discovered that showed him skydiving.
State police at Granville arrested Bancroft for insurance fraud, grand larceny, falsifying business records and workers' compensation fraud.
Bancroft was arraigned before Judge Michael Keenan in Kingsbury Town Court. He was remanded to jail but later released under a $20,000 bond pending a hearing on April 8. If he is convicted, he could be sentenced to up to 15 years in prison. Washington County District Attorney Kevin Kortright is prosecuting the case.