Queens District Attorney Richard Brown, New York State Insurance Department Superintendent Gregory Serio, New York State Workers’ Compensation Fraud Inspector General John Burgher, Jr. and New York City Transit President Lawrence Reuter, jointly announced that four Queens residents have been charged with defrauding the State Workers’ Compensation system of $68,400 over a three year period between 1999 and 2002 by claiming they had been injured and unable to work when actually they were gainfully employed.
The announcement identified the four men, and gave details of the charges against them as follows:
*Joseph Chimenti is alleged to have stolen $22,345 by filing a claim asserting that he had been disabled by a back injury that he said he had sustained on Jan. 26, 2001 driving a bus that hit a pothole while employed by Green Bus Lines and thereafter receiving benefits between July 7, 2001 and Oct. 5, 2002. Surveillance video by State investigators revealed that between these same dates he had engaged in strenuous work activity that included loading and unloading numerous boxes of hubcaps into his vehicle and selling hubcaps at a roadside stand in Queens.
*Rosario DiLorenzo is alleged to have stolen $8,800 by filing a claim asserting that he had been disabled by a sprained foot that he said he had sustained on Nov. 19, 2001 while working as a night supervisor loading trucks in a warehouse while employed by Air Group, Inc., located at Antillas Airlines JFK Airport, Jamaica, New York and thereafter receiving benefits between February 5 and July 9, 2002. State investigators have learned that at the same time he actually was also collecting income for six years from October 29, 1996 to Feb. 4, 2002 from his employment as a school bus operator for the Little Linda Bus Company at 97-14 Atlantic Avenue in Ozone Park and failed to inform the Workers’ Compensation Board of his employment.
*George Greco is alleged to have stolen $36,000 by filing three separate claims asserting that he had been disabled by back and neck injuries that he said he sustained on Aug. 9, 1995, February 27, 1992 and Feb. 9, 1986 while working as a bus maintainer for New York City Transit and thereafter receiving benefits between 1986 and October 8, 2001. On November 29, 2001, the defendant stated to NYCTA that he had not returned to work since his injuries. Surveillance video obtained by NYCTA investigators has revealed that between April 1, 2001 and July 25, 2002 the defendant actually had been gainfully employed as a licensed insurance agent for All Brokerage Insurance Agency at 646 Waverly Place in Uniondale, New York.
*Eddison Mathura is alleged to have stolen $1,620 by filing a claim asserting that he had been disabled by injuries to his left hand and wrist that he said he had sustained on March 14, 2001 while working as a laborer for JDG Door and Domco Door, Inc. 679 McDonald Avenue, Brooklyn, New York and thereafter receiving benefits between July 29, 2002 and Sept. 17, 2002. On July 15, 2002, the defendant submitted a signed re-certification form to Magna Carta Companies, an insurance carrier, that stated that he had not worked since the date of his injury and State investigators have learned that he actually had been employed as a laborer for Kishan Construction at 127-15 102 Road in Richmond Hill, Queens.
DA Brown stated, “The defendants are alleged to have cheated other workers and employers, as well, by collecting benefits to which they were not entitled. The Workers’ Compensation system was established for the protection and benefit of all working persons with legitimate needs and so when any individual cheats the system and undermines its worthy purpose he will be arrested and prosecuted.”
“This is the second time this month that the Insurance Department has announced arrests of individuals for workers’ compensation fraud with the Queens District Attorney’s Office,” Serio added. “Let these continued arrests be fair warning to those who ignore the insurance and workers’ compensation laws — you will be caught. Governor Pataki’s strong stand against insurance fraud is a statewide priority and under his direction the Department has combined resources and expertise with other law enforcement agencies to take these fraudsters off of the streets and allow the insurance system to work for honest New Yorkers.”
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