Man pleads in workers’ comp case

PHOTOGRAPHER:
Kellogg

ALBANY — An Amsterdam roofing contractor has pleaded guilty to a felony charge of workers’ compensation fraud, according to the New York State’s Attorney General’s Office.

New York State Inspector General Catherine Leahy Scott said in a news release that Joseph Kellogg, Sr., 51, of Storrie Street, Amsterdam, pleaded guilty Tuesday in Montgomery County Court to the workers’ compensation crime of failure to secure compensation and first-degree offering a false instrument for filing, both felonies.

Kellogg was originally charged in December with four counts each of first-degree offering a false instrument for filing and the workers’ compensation crime of fraudulent practices, and one count of the workers’ compensation crime of failure to secure compensation, all felonies

According to Leahy Scott, this is the second time in four years Kellogg has been caught perpetrating similar fraudulent activity on the workers’ compensation system.

Kellogg, a residential roofing contractor in Amsterdam, filed four separate building permit applications in 2015 that included fraudulent certifications stating he had no employees and was exempt from obtaining workers’ compensation insurance.

An investigation by Leahy Scott’s office found that Kellogg used several employees on his roofing job contracts related to the 2015 permit applications, at one point employing 11 individuals on two simultaneous projects.

Under state law, employers are required to maintain workers’ compensation coverage for their employees.

Subsequent to his arrest late last year on the latest workers’ compensation fraud charges, Kellogg was additionally charged with felony false filings when it was determined he earned income through his contracting business, Joe’s Roofing, but failed to disclose that income in an application for food stamp benefits.

“This defendant carved out an entirely new level of unabashed fraud with his crimes, not only leaving his own employees without critical coverage to protect their well being, but also committing virtually the same fraud he was convicted of just a few years earlier,” said Inspector General Leahy Scott.

In 2013, Kellogg pleaded guilty to second-degree offering a false instrument for filing for filing a similar fraudulent certification.

Kellogg remains released on bail pending sentencing on Oct. 2 in Montgomery County Court.

The city of Amsterdam and the Montgomery County Department of Social Services assisted with the investigation, the Amsterdam Police Department assisted with the arrest, and Montgomery County District Attorney Kelli P. McCoski prosecuted the matter.

Kerry Minor can be reached at [email protected]

By Patricia Older

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