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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Northern District of New York

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, October 19, 2015

Jury Convicts Catskill Man And Coxsackie Woman Of Benefits Fraud

Defendants guilty on all counts following a two-week trial

ALBANY, NEW YORK – A jury on Friday voted to convict John W. Caltabiano, Jr., age 48, of Catskill, and Colleen J. McCarten, age 43, of Coxsackie, of conspiracy to commit mail fraud, five counts of mail fraud, and theft of government property, announced United States Attorney Richard S. Hartunian and Edward J. Ryan, Special Agent-In-Charge of the Social Security Administration (SSA) Office of the Inspector General.

The jury reached a verdict on October 16, after a two-week trial. Caltabiano and McCarten face up to 20 years in prison on each of the conspiracy and mail fraud counts, and a maximum of 10 years of imprisonment on the theft of government property count. United States District Judge Mae A. D’Agostino is scheduled to sentence them on February 18, 2016.

Between April 2008 and October 2010, Caltabiano and McCarten conspired to steal Social Security Disability and Workers’ Compensation benefits by falsely presenting Caltabiano as completely blind to the SSA, the New York State Workers’ Compensation Board and Travelers Insurance. Surveillance videos showed Caltabiano driving, shopping and otherwise moving about without assistance.

“The jury’s verdict holds the defendants accountable for pretending that one of them was completely blind in order to increase his Social Security Administration and workers’ compensation benefits,” stated U.S. Attorney Richard S. Hartunian. “My office will continue to work with the Social Security Administration’s Office of the Inspector General to ensure that such deceit does not pay.”

“We applaud the jury’s verdict and the successful efforts of the U.S. Attorney’s Office and the Social Security Administration’s Office of General Counsel in bringing this case to justice,” stated Edward J. Ryan, Special Agent-In-Charge of the SSA Office of the Inspector General. “As guardians of the public trust, our office will continue to investigate SSA beneficiaries who feign their medical conditions and submit false documentation to the SSA. Our successful criminal prosecutions protect the SSA trust funds for those who truly deserve disability benefits.”

This case was investigated by the Social Security Administration Office of the Inspector General and the New York State Workers’ Compensation Board, and is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jeffrey C. Coffman and Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Jason W. White.

Topic(s): 
Financial Fraud
Updated October 20, 2015