www.fingerlakesdailynews.com, Lucas Day, July 19,2022

The Offices of the New York State Inspector General announced the guilty plea and sentencing of 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.

Denise Lewis, 45, of Elmira, pleaded guilty on May 17th to felony insurance fraud. At that time Lewis paid $6,600 in restitution. On Monday the presiding judge, the Hon. Richard W. Rich, Jr., sentenced Lewis to a three-year conditional discharge in Chemung County Court.

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 individual during certain hours – but eyewitnesses and surveillance conducted by members of the Inspector General’s office 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,” said Inspector General Lang. “We will continue to vigorously investigate and root out fraud to protect the system for vulnerable New Yorkers who rely on all its benefits.”