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Press Release

Capital District Man And Woman Arraigned On Social Security Disability And Workers’ Compensation Fraud Charges

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Northern District of New York

ALBANY, NEW YORK – JOHN W. CALTABIANO, Jr., 47, of Cairo, New York, and COLLEEN J. McCARTEN, 41, of Coxsackie, New York, appeared today before Magistrate Judge Randolph F. Treece in U.S. District Court in Albany to be arraigned on an 11-count July 17, 2014, indictment charging them with engaging in a fraudulent scheme to obtain Social Security Disability and New York State Workers’ Compensation benefits, announced United States Attorney Richard S. Hartunian and Special Agent Edward J. Ryan of the Social Security Administration, Office of the Inspector General, Office of Investigations, New York Field Division.

According to the indictment, CALTABIANO and McCARTEN conspired to fraudulently obtain payments by submitting false information in connection with CALTABIANO’s Social Security Disability and Workers’ Compensation claims. The indictment alleges that McCARTEN and CALTABIANO submitted documents to the Social Security Administration falsely stating that CALTABIANO could not go out alone or drive, and that McCARTEN led CALTABIANO into a Workers’ Compensation Board hearing as if he was blind, when in fact CALTABIANO regularly moved without assistance and drove a car.

If convicted, CALTABIANO and McCARTEN face up to 20 years in prison on a conspiracy to commit mail fraud count and each of five mail fraud counts, up to five years in prison on each of two Social Security Disability fraud counts and two false statements counts, and up to 10 years in prison on a theft of government property count. They could also be ordered to pay fines of up to $250,000 on each count.

The charges are merely accusations and the defendants are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.

The indictment resulted from an investigation conducted by the Social Security Administration, Office of the Inspector General, with assistance from the Workers’ Compensation Board, Office of Fraud Inspector General. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Jeffrey C. Coffman.

Updated January 29, 2015