An Auburn man was arrested Tuesday on more than a dozen criminal charges for allegedly stealing more than $75,000 in workers' insurance benefits, authorities said.
David C. Sigl, 54, of Wall Street, claimed workers' compensation benefits he was not entitled to over a roughly three-year period and failed to provide insurance coverage for the two employees of his company, Lake Country Logging, according to a press release issued by the state Inspector General's Office.
An investigation by Inspector General Catherine Leahy Scott — with support from the Cayuga County District Attorney's Office and the Auburn Police Department — revealed that Sigl allegedly collected benefits after sustaining an injury in 2013 while working as a heavy equipment operator for a Syracuse construction firm, the IG's office said.
Sigl, however, was working and earned at least $135,000 since the 2013 injury, making him ineligible to receive more than $75,000 in workers compensation benefits, according to the IG's office. Cayuga County District Attorney Jon Budelmann said Sigl claimed to be "100-percent disabled," yet was "climbing in and out of log-skidder tractors, climbing up and down trees and wielding chainsaws.
"It is reprehensible and will not, must not be tolerated," Budelmann said in the release.
Leahy Scott said, "Both as a former employee and as the proprietor of his own company, this defendant brazenly abused a system meant to protect honest, hard-working New Yorker. He stole benefits he was not entitled to, and he failed to protect and provide the employees of his own company with the required coverage he selfishly took advantage of."
Sigl stands accused of second-degree grand larceny, second-degree insurance fraud, five counts of fraudulent practices and five counts of first-degree offering a false instrument for filing, all felonies. He was also charged with the workers' compensation crime of failure to secure compensation, a misdemeanor.
The Auburn man was arraigned in Auburn City Court on Tuesday and was remanded to the Cayuga County Jail on $2,500 cash bail, $5,000 bond. He is set to reappear in court on March 21.
Sigl — who also has an address at 9 Justin Drive in Fleming, according to Cayuga County property records — is listed as the owner of a 127-131 Wall St. The property was the site of a building that collapsed last June and was demolished by the City of Auburn as a public safety hazard in October.