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Posted on: December 3, 2021

Former NYS Dept. of Taxation and Finance Employee Indicted for Alleged Sick Leave & Time Schemes

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Sabine Alexis charged in 19-count indictment for allegedly falsifying extended sick leave paperwork and collecting salary while employed full-time at another job; certifying work hours while operating a daycare and completing bachelor’s and master’s degrees

MINEOLA, N.Y. – Acting Nassau County District Attorney Joyce A. Smith announced the indictment of a former Tax Compliance Agent with the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance (DTF) for allegedly defrauding the agency and falsifying records, including submitting sick leave documentation representing that she was unable to work because of a medical issue and collecting a salary from the agency while engaging in full-time employment as a social worker at a non-profit. The defendant is also alleged to have submitted timesheets indicating she was working regular business hours with DTF, when the investigation revealed she was operating a daycare from her residence, working various internships, and completing coursework towards both bachelor’s and master’s degrees. NCDA initiated an investigation after a referral of the alleged conduct by DTF. 

Sabine Alexis, 46, of Baldwin, was arraigned today before Judge Howard Sturim on charges in a 19-count indictment, including grand larceny in the third degree as a crime of public corruption (a C felony); corrupting the government in the third degree (a D felony); offering a false instrument for filing in the first degree (an E felony); falsifying business records in the second degree (an A misdemeanor); and corrupting the government in the fourth degree (an E felony). If convicted on the top charge, Alexis faces up to five to 15 years in prison. The defendant’s next court date is January 5, 2022.

“For more than five years, this defendant financed a career change by allegedly falsifying timesheets, certifying she was working as a tax compliance agent and collecting a salary, while in reality, using business hours to run a daycare operation from her home, complete several social work internships, and take classes towards two separate degrees,” Acting DA Smith said. “Further, during NCDA’s investigation, the defendant began taking extended sick leave from DTF with half-pay, while allegedly brazenly working full-time as a social worker for a non-profit, collecting two salaries at DTF and taxpayers’ expense.”

New York State Department of Taxation and Finance Acting Commissioner Amanda Hiller said, “As public servants, we must uphold the trust of all New Yorkers and never tolerate those who abuse their positions with the Tax Department. Deceiving the state and its citizens by misrepresenting hours worked and misusing sick leave is a gross violation of public trust that unfairly tarnishes the integrity of all hardworking state employees. Thanks to our partners at the Nassau County District Attorney’s Office, this individual will face justice on these charges.”

According to the indictment, between December 2019 and April 2020, the defendant, working as a Tax Compliance Agent for DTF, allegedly submitted paperwork, including “Request for Sick Leave at Half Pay” documents, representing that she was unable to work due to a medical condition. DTF allows employees to collect a sick leave “half-pay” salary while on extended medical leave. 

The investigation revealed that while the defendant was collecting half-pay, she was hired by the Jewish Association Serving the Aging (JASA) as a social worker effective November 25, 2019 and was allegedly engaging in full-time salaried employment at JASA. Alexis allegedly submitted further paperwork with DTF on December 31, 2019 further extending her sick leave with DTF, collecting thousands of dollars from DTF to which she was not entitled. 

In a separate earlier scheme, between August 2013 and July 2019, the defendant allegedly submitted falsified timesheets, travel reports, taxpayer logs, and various other documents stating that she was working regular business hours for DTF and completing field work for the agency, when in fact she was engaged in other activities, including operating Laughter and Love Inc., a daycare facility licensed by the New York State Office of Children and Family Services (“OCFS”) that the defendant ran out of her then-residence in Valley Stream; working in an in-person social work placement at Living Positive Inc., a health and social services agency in Hempstead; participating in another social work placement at Martin Van Buren High School in Queens; and taking courses towards her bachelor’s degree at York College and a Master’s of Social Work at Yeshiva University. 

The investigation determined that Alexis’ timesheets and travel records submitted to DTF conflicted with evidence, including documentation from the placements and GPS data, showing Alexis was operating the daycare, attending college courses, or at social work field placements at the times she claimed to be working for DTF. The investigation also determined that Alexis at times submitted falsified timesheets to OCFS regarding her own attendance at her daycare, Laughter and Love.

NCDA thanks the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance and the New York State Office of Children and Family Services for their assistance and cooperation in this investigation and prosecution. 

Senior Assistant District Attorney Heather Kalachman of NCDA’s Public Corruption Bureau is prosecuting the case. The defendant is represented by David Ferguson, Esq. 

The charges are merely accusations and the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless found guilty.


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