BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB)– The New York State Inspector General says a New York State correction officer admitted to stealing over $6,400 in workers’ comp benefits by submitting forged documents.
Along with his guilty plea, 29-year-old Thomas Smart, Jr. of Tonawanda submitted his formal resignation from state service in Albion Town Court on Wednesday.
An investigation by the Inspector General found Smart repeatedly submitted forged workers’ compensation leave forms completed and signed by his treating doctors between January 2017 and February 2018. The investigation also showed many of the alleged doctor visits did not occur at all.
Further investigation found Smart was receiving thew workers’ comp benefits from injuries sustained while working at the Albion Correctional Facility. Due to the submission of forged documents to his employer, Smart received over $6,000 in workers’ comp benefits, which he was not entitled.
“This defendant’s intentional lies to DOCCS enabled him to improperly benefit from a system intended to assist hard-working New Yorkers who are injured and unable to work. I will continue to use all of the resources at my disposal to enhance the public’s confidence in our State government by pursuing any public employee who corruptly abuses this critical benefits system,” said Inspector General Tagliafierro.
Officials say as a part of his plea agreement to offering a false instrument for filing, Smart will pay full restitution of the amount stolen and was sentenced to a conditional discharge.