N.Y. Insurance Fund Investigator Accused of Falsifying Expenses

August 28, 2005

A claims investigator for the New York State Insurance Fund reportedly bilked the state out of $8,744 by claiming she spent the night at bed-and-breakfasts which investigators found didn’t exist, the state inspector general said.

Investigators who checked into Margaret Kelly’s expense vouchers after an audit by the state Comptroller’s office, found the address she gave for one bed-and-breakfast in Poughkeepsie, where she claimed to have stayed during the period of April 2004 to May 2005, was actually a senior citizens apartment complex.

The address for a bed-and-breakfast in Hyde Park, where Kelly said she stayed from December 2003 to February 2004, was also an apartment complex.

Kelly, 51, provided what she said were receipts from both establishments and the State Insurance Fund reimbursed her $8,744 for the lodging costs.

The manager of the senior citizens complex told the state Inspector General’s office that no one by the name of Margaret Kelly had ever been a tenant there. When shown a photograph of Kelly, the assistant manager of the complex told the IG’s office she recognized Kelly as a frequent visitor of a tenant of the complex.

When the IG called the telephone number Kelly listed on vouchers, the individual who answered the phone falsely claimed to be the owner of the bed-and breakfast, and said Kelly had been a frequent customer there. The investigation determined that the individual was the tenant whom Kelly was seen frequently visiting.

Kelly, of East Greenbush, was arrested June 29 and charged with felony counts of third-degree grand larceny, offering a false instrument for filing and falsifying business records. She worked for the State Insurance Fund for 20 years and resigned July 13.

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