Hudson Valley High School Coach, MTA Bus Driver Accused of Fraud
A Hudson Valley high school girls basketball coach working as a bus driver is accused of workers' compensation fraud.
Tyrone Searight, 49, of Peekskill was arrested on Tuesday in Ramapo Justice Court on two counts of workers’ compensation fraudulent practices and one count of grand larceny, felonies.
Searight, the Haldane High School's varsity girls basketball coach, was employed as a bus driver for the MTA Bus Company when he reported a work injury to his left knee on Nov. 7, 2016. After filing paperwork certifying he was unable to work due to the injury, he collected workers’ compensation wage indemnity benefits from December 2016 to May 2017, officials say.
However, the Inspector General’s investigation found while Searight was claiming he was not working and unable to work, he was actually still working as the girls’ varsity basketball coach for the Haldane Central School District in Cold Spring, the Inspector General’s claims.
Between November 2016 and March 2017, Searight was allegedly observed coaching the team at games and running practices. Video surveillance showed Searight bending, squatting, pacing, waving his arms and abruptly standing up from the sidelines at several games, officials say.
Searight was terminated from the MTA Bus Company based upon Searight’s work activity while receiving wage replacement benefits. He's accused of illegally collecting more than $11,000 in workers’ compensation benefits.
“While this individual claimed he was injured to the extent that he was unable to work, he was working on the basketball court – an affront against the workers’ compensation system,” New York State Inspector General Letizia Tagliafierro said. “My office will continue to fight waste, fraud and abuse in order to protect the state’s taxpayers.”
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