Corrections Officer Indicted For Insurance Fraud

A corrections officer at the St. Lawrence County Jail has been named in a five count indictment charging him with insurance fraud and grand larceny.

A grand jury indicted 63 year old Bernard Debien Jr. on the following charges:

– third-degree grand larceny
– two counts of first-degree offering a false instrument for filing
– two counts of third-degree insurance fraud.

Debien allegedly failed to notify the county that he and his wife, Maxine, divorced resulting in the county expending more than $62,000 in medical expenses on behalf of his ex-wife.

Prosecutors say Debien stole more than $3,000 through insurance coverage.

Had Debien disclosed the divorce, the medical coverage would have continued with Debien paying $8,600 in COBRA health insurance premiums.

Debien is also alleged to have filed a Health and Life Insurance enrollment form with the county with false statements and information.

He also is alleged to have filed a MetLife Insurance Claim Form requesting life insurance benefits as a result of his ex-wife’s death.

Debien has worked at the county jail since September 1990.

Sheriff Kevin Wells tells 7 News that “It’s a personnel matter and we will deal with it within the Sheriff’s Office. It is not connected to his job performance.


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