N.Y. Arrests 12 for Workers’ Comp Fraud

March 2, 2004

New York’s Superintendent of Insurance Gregory V. Serio joined Queens District Attorney Richard A. Brown, NY State Insurance Fund Executive Director Kenneth Ross and NY State Workers’ Compensation Fraud Inspector General John H. Burgher, Jr. to announce that 12 Queens residents have been charged with defrauding the State Workers’ Compensation system.

The NYSID’s bulletin indicated that “The residents are alleged to have defrauded the system out of more than $172,000 during a four year period between 1999 and 2003 by either submitting false applications for insurance coverage or claiming they had been injured and unable to work when actually they were gainfully employed.”

Commenting on the arrests, Serio noted that they included “individuals who claimed they were unable to work but were found jet skiing, driving a truck and working as a custodian and as a result were stealing money from the workers’ compensation system designed to support workers who are legitimately injured. The arrests of these individuals are a perfect example of New York’s successful effort to pursue individuals who defraud the workers’ compensation system.”

He added that it was “through the hard work of the Department with the help of the Queens District Attorney’s office, the Workers’ Compensation Board and the State Insurance Fund that more insurance crooks are being convicted every year, and billions of dollars stolen from honest citizens and businesses are being recovered.”

District Attorney Brown noted, “The defendants are alleged to have cheated other workers and employers, as well, by making application for and 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. When any individual cheats the system and undermines its worthy purposes they will be vigorously prosecuted.”

Workers’ Compensation Fraud Inspector General John H. Burgher, Jr. indicated that these arrests brought the total of people charged with Workers Comp fraud to 500 since 1997, and “should send a strong message to those thinking about stealing from the people of New York that Governor Pataki and the Workers’ Compensation Board are serious about eliminating the costly effects of fraud. I applaud District Attorney Brown, and all of the agencies involved with executing these arrests for doing their part to enforce our laws and deter workers’ compensation fraud.”

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