You are here

Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Former Union Employee Pleads Guilty To

CONTACT:  Barbara Burns
PHONE:  (716) 843-5817
FAX:   (716) 551-3051

ROCHESTER, N.Y.-- U.S. Attorney William J. Hochul, Jr. announced that Paul Harnas, Jr., age 30, of, Pine City, New York, pleaded guilty in federal court before United States District Judge Frank P. Geraci to conspiring to steal from a health care benefit program.  The charge carries a maximum sentence 5 years in prison, a fine of $250,000, or both.

Assistant U.S. Attorney John J. Field, who is handling the matter, stated that Harnas, a member of the Plumbers & Steamfitters Local 267, devised a scheme to submit fraudulent dental claims seeking reimbursement from the Local 267 health fund.  Harnas prepared false dental receipts, which he and others then provided to the Local 267 health fund to support fraudulent claims for reimbursement that totaled approximately $65,000.

This plea is the culmination of an investigation by Special Agents of the United States Department of Labor, Office of Inspector General, Office of Labor Racketeering and Fraud Investigations, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Cheryl Garcia of the New York Regional Office, and the New York State Department of Financial Services, Frauds Bureau, under the direction of Superintendent Benjamin Lawsky.

Harnas is scheduled to be sentenced by Judge Geraci on July 8, 2015 at 11:00 a.m.

Updated April 9, 2015