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Inspector general

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A Syracuse woman defrauded the workers' compensation system and improperly collected more than $26,000 in benefits, state Inspector General Catherine Leahy Scott said Friday. 

Jacqueline Gilchrist, 53, of West Newell Street, was employed as a certified nursing assistant at Madison County rehabilitation facility. An investigation found that in the spring of 2013, Gilchrist claimed she suffered an injury at work. She stopped working and began collecting workers' compensation benefits, according to the inspector general's office. 

The inquiry also revealed that the day before her purported injury, Gilchrist signed a contract to begin working as a real estate broker with an agency in Onondaga County. While employed as a real estate broker, she continued to receive workers' compensation payments. 

Over a two-year period, Gilchrist claimed at workers' compensation medical exams that she hadn't been working since the injury. 

Gilchrist collected $26,270 in benefits, according to the state inspector general's office. 

"This defendant's ongoing deception and fraud enabled her to shamelessly enrich herself with benefit payments to which she was not entitled," Scott said. "The state workers' compensation system is vital protection for honest employees throughout New York, and I will use every resource at my disposal to pursue anyone who abuses it." 

Gilchrist was charged with third-degree grand larceny, first-degree falsifying business records and the workers' compensation crime of fraudulent practices. 

She was arraigned in Syracuse City Court and remanded to the Onondaga County Justice Center in lieu of $2,500 cash or $5,000 bond. She is scheduled to reappear in court Tuesday. 

The state police assisted with Gilchrist's arrest. Onondaga County District Attorney William Fitzpatrick's office is prosecuting the case. 

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