Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman today announced the indictments of FDNY Emergency Medical Technicians Kathyleen Roman and Reynaldo Laruy, FDNY Firefighter Herman Tyson, and NYPD Traffic Enforcement Agent Ania Villalon in Bronx Supreme Court for allegedly committing insurance fraud and grand larceny against the American Family Life Assurance Company (“AFLAC”). The defendants allegedly stole thousands from AFLAC by forging physicians’ or supervisors’ signatures to file false insurance claims. These charges follow eight arrests in Queens and five in Brooklyn as part of an ongoing investigation of insurance fraud committed by City employees.
The defendants arraigned today are accused of the following:
- Herman J. Tyson, 35, of the Bronx. Tyson is accused of stealing $46,370 and is charged with Grand Larceny in the Third Degree and Insurance Fraud in the Third Degree, both D felonies.
- Reynaldo LaRuy, 47, of Stroudsburg, PA. LaRuy is accused of stealing $60,503 and is charged with Grand Larceny in the Second Degree and Insurance Fraud in the Second Degree, both C felonies.
- Ania Villalon, 47, of the Bronx. Villalon is accused of stealing $11,040 and is charged with Grand Larceny in the Third Degree and Insurance Fraud in the Third Degree, both D felonies.
- Kathyleen Roman, 36, of the Bronx and Stroudsburg, PA. Roman is accused of stealing $36,503 and is charged with Grand Larceny in the Third Degree and Insurance Fraud in the Third Degree, both D felonies.
To date, six defendants have pleaded guilty to felony counts of insurance fraud and/or grand larceny. They have agreed to pay the following in restitution:
- Marc Criado Mastros, $118,630;
- Kenneth Lambert, $91,000;
- Devon Graham, $71,000;
- Caleb Laues, $41,000;
- Mourad Touati, $31,000; and
- Jose Solis, $27,000
Marc Criado-Mastros, was sentenced on March 9, 2017 before Judge Latella in the Supreme Court of Queens County. Mr. Criado-Mastros was sentenced to five years felony probation, restitution of $118,630, and an additional $5,931 in surcharges after pleading guilty to Grand Larceny in the Second Degree and Insurance Fraud in the Second Degree, both class C felonies. The remaining defendants are awaiting sentencing or trial.
“New York consumers should not have to pay higher insurance rates because of the acts of dishonest individuals,” said Attorney General Schneiderman.“We will continue to crackdown on this scheme which has cost insurance companies hundreds of thousands in unnecessary payouts. We will not allow public employees to abuse their position of trust to skirt the rules.”
With offices around the state, and a jurisdiction that is not limited by county, the OAG is uniquely positioned to simultaneously prosecute defendants in multiple venues in cases like this one.
The Attorney General would like to thank the New York City Department of Investigation and the New York State Department of Financial Services for partnering with the OAG on this investigation.
Financial Services Superintendent Maria T. Vullo said, “The Department of Financial Services is proud to have worked with the Attorney General on this investigation. Insurance fraud is a crime that not only impacts the industry but also the rates that consumers pay for insurance. DFS will continue to protect insurers and consumers to keep New York’s insurance market strong and fair for all.”
DOI Commissioner Mark G. Peters said, “These arrests are the result of our continuing investigation into insurance fraud by City employees, including members of the police and fire departments, which had previously exposed more than a dozen employees for various schemes. Public servants, especially those working in our uniformed services, should be examples of integrity and upholding the law. Our investigation with the Attorney General is ongoing.”
The charges are merely accusations, and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty in a court of law.
Investigators from the Department of Investigation included Assistant Inspector General Sara Levinson who was the lead investigator under the supervision of Inspectors General Shannon K. Manigault and Frank J. Carine, Assistant Commissioner Michael Healy, Deputy Commissioner/Chief of Investigations Michael Carroll and First Deputy Commissioner Lesley Brovner. The investigation also received assistance from DOI’s Office of the Inspector General for NYPD. The New York State Department of Financial Services’ senior investigator, Cindy Licata, participated in key interviews of witnesses and crucial verification processes that helped lead to the indictments.