An Auburn man has been indicted and arraigned on charges that he stole more than $75,000 in workers' compensation benefits and failed to provide workers' compensation insurance for two employees at his logging company.
A grand jury in Cayuga County indicted David Sigl, 55, of Wall St., Auburn, on second-degree grand larceny, second-degree insurance fraud and first-degree offering a false instrument for filing. In addition to the felony charges, he also was indicted for the workers' compensation crime of failure to secure compensation, a misdemeanor.
Sigl, who was arraigned in Cayuga County Court, was released on $2,500 cash or $5,000 bond bail.
His next court appearance is scheduled for Feb. 14.
The case is being prosecuted by Cayuga County District Attorney Jon Budelmann's office.
"This defendant claimed to be 100 percent disabled, but admitted to climbing in and out of a large, articulated log-skidder tractor, climbing up and down trees and wielding chainsaws," Budelmann said. "In truth, Sigl earned over $150,000 in income through his manual labor while claiming to be disabled and abusing the system. It is reprehensible and must not, will not be tolerated."
Sigl, who was arrested in March, allegedly received more than $75,000 in workers' compensation benefits after being injured in early 2013 while working as a heavy equipment operator for a Syracuse construction firm, according to the state inspector general's office.
After Sigl's injury, authorities say he informed the state Workers' Compensation Board that he wasn't working. But an inspector general's investigation found he was operating and working for his own company, Lake Country Logging.
From his work at Lake Country Logging, Sigl earned at least $135,000 since his 2013 injury, according to the inspector general's office. The wages he earned made him ineligible to receive the workers' compensation benefits he reportedly collected.
The state inspector general's office also found that Sigl allegedly didn't provide workers' compensation insurance for the two individuals he employed at Lake Country Logging in violation of state law.
"As both an employee and a business owner, this defendant brazenly defrauded a critical safety net for hardworking New Yorkers by stealing tens of thousands of dollars in benefits to which he was not entitled while also refusing to provide the insurance to protect his own employees as required by law," state Inspector General Catherine Leahy Scott said in a statement.