Corrections Officers' Benevolent Association (COBA)

Ex-Board Members of NYC Corrections Officers Union Charged with Insurance Fraud

It might qualify as dark comedy. To prosecutors and union officials, it qualifies as theft. Allen Blake and Chandra LaSonde, each a former board member of the local Corrections Officers' Benevolent Association (COBA), were charged on Wednesday in Manhattan federal court with mail fraud. Prosecutors allege Blake, with LaSonde's help, filed and eventually collected a false life insurance claim on behalf of Blake's wife, Pearl, whom he'd recently divorced and who died not long after. Blake and LaSonde, each a guard at New York City's Rikers Island jail complex, were forced out of the union in December by union President Norman Seabrook.

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