NEW YORK, NY (03/15/2011)(readMedia)– An accountant was arrested Monday for falsifying the payroll records of a Syracuse cab driver who was killed in a January 2009 robbery so it would appear that the driver was working for a company covered by workers’ compensation insurance.
Vincent Kukys, 66, is accused of changing the payroll records of Timothy Gordon, to show Gordon as being employed by Century Taxi & Transportation. In fact, Gordon was driving for Yellow Taxi when he was killed in the robbery.
Both Yellow Taxi and Century are owned by Frank Manzi. Yellow Taxi did not have workers’ compensation insurance at the time of Gordon’s death; Century did have coverage.
Workers’ compensation benefits are used to pay death benefits to the beneficiaries of employees killed in work-related incidents.
Kukys was arrested by Onondaga County sheriffs after a joint investigation by the New York State Insurance Department’s Frauds Bureau, the New York State Insurance Fund and the New York State Workers’ Compensation Board Office of the Inspector General.
A forensics examination of Kukys’s computer showed that Gordon was added as a Century employee after his death. Kukys performed payroll and accounting services for Manzi.
Kukys was charged with three felonies, first degree counts of perjury, offering a false instrument for filing and workers’ compensation fraud. Future court action is pending. He could be sentenced to up to seven years in prison if he is convicted.
The case is being prosecuted by Onondaga County Assistant District Attorney Beth Van Doren.
Last year, Yellow Taxi was ordered to pay $5,000 restitution to the Insurance Fund after pleading guilty to charges of possession of a forged instrument and offering a false instrument for filing. The charges stemmed from accusations that the company falsified workers’ compensation and employment liability insurance applications.
Three men were prosecuted in Gordon’s killing.