A Hudson Valley man is accused of defrauding a local town out of over $14,000.

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New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli, Ulster County District Attorney David Clegg and the New York State Police announced Kyle Fletcher, a heavy equipment operator employed by the Town of Gardiner, was arrested for allegedly defrauding the Town of over $14,000 in health care buyout payments he was not entitled to.

“Mr. Fletcher allegedly deceived the Town to pocket over $14,000 in public funds," DiNapoli said. “Thanks to my office’s partnership with the New York State Police and Ulster County District Attorney Clegg he is being held responsible for his actions.”

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In mid-2017, Fletcher informed the Town that he was eligible to receive health insurance buyouts from his employer because he had other health insurance coverage, officials say. Employees are eligible for health insurance buyout payments if they have external insurance coverage and forego the Town of Gardiner’s health insurance policy.

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Although Fletcher lost his non-Town provided health insurance coverage in January 2018, he did not notify the town and obtained $14,071.59 in unlawful buyout payments until his resignation in 2020, according to state officials.

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Fletcher was employed by the Town of Gardiner from April 2014 until he resigned in May 2020.

“Public employees must be held to a high standard and stealing taxpayer money for personal benefit is not acceptable for any reason. I commend our members and the Comptroller’s Office for their work on making certain that this individual is held accountable for his actions,” State Police Superintendent Kevin P. Bruen said.

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