A Rome man who previously pleaded guilty to insurance fraud has been sentenced and now has to pay more than $12,000 in restitution, according to New York Inspector General Catherine Leahy Scott.
In September 2015, 45-year-old Samuel Spina of Rome was working as a youth division aide for the state Office of Children and Family Service’s Taberg Residential Center for Girls when he reported a debilitating knee injury at work, which allegedly prevented him from working. Leahy Scott says Spina told physicians during three different examinations that the injury prevented him from returning to work in order to get Workers’ Compensation benefits.
According to Leahy Scott, within two weeks of reporting the injury – and for months afterward – Spina was seen playing ice hockey as a goalie for the amateur hockey team the Tighty Whities. After receiving four months’ worth of Workers’ Compensation benefits, Spina returned to work.
Spina previously pleaded guilty to fifth-degree insurance fraud, and today he was sentenced to pay $12,110.88 in restitution and to serve 100 hours of community service. As part of his guilty plea Spina also resigned from his position with the state Office of Children and Family Services.