DELMAR: State worker charged with fraud

Seventy-eight vouchers submitted by VIP to OMH for payment for purported studies from 2001 through last month were reviewed. VIP was allegedly performing engineering and architectural work to determine if a site had the potential for an OMH-sponsored residential treatment facility. Six discrepancies were identified as inconsistent with similar vouchers submitted by other companies for the same site work.

Most payments made to VIP and signed off by Leggiero regularly exceeded $19,000 per voucher.

"In contrast, the sample set of vouchers generally claimed payments in the range of $2,000 to $5,000," wrote Battisti.

The affidavit provided in court states none of the VIP payments identifies the town or county of the land surveyed, some even lack addresses and others have false addresses according to the report.

"In one case OSC investigator Stephanie Kelly made efforts to locate 30 and 32 Gick Road, supposed street addresses from a VIP voucher," wrote Battisti.

"Upon identifying Gick Road in Saratoga Springs, Investigator Kelly conducted surveillance and found that 32 Gick Road did not exist and that 30 Gick Road was a warehouse converted to office space, unsuitable for residential purposes," Battisti stated.

Other VIP vouchers sought payment for alleged studies of the same location. Financial disclosure statements reviewed by the attorney general's office of Leggiero and his wife, Kathleen, also an OMH employee, never revealed any interest and income from VIP in the filing with the state ethics commission. There is also no record of any tax filing on behalf of VIP with the state Department of Tax and Finance.

Aside from their Slingerlands home, the Leggieros also own five cars, among them a 1958 Corvette and a Cadillac Escalade, along with a second residential property.

"It seems unlikely that Leggiero would have been able to afford these assets based on his and his wife's state salaries alone," said Battisti.

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