Filing a workers’ compensation claim for a back injury allegedly didn’t stop a Brewster, N.Y. man from working as a bartender at three different establishments, nor from directing traffic as a flagger for Verizon and applying for a hack license with the Westchester County Taxi and Limousine Commission, authorities said.
Nicholas Maffei, 61, applied for Social Security Disability Benefits which he apparently received in addition to workers’ compensation benefits while working under the alias Nicholas Pasquale at various jobs since 1996, officials stated.
Westchester County District Attorney Janet DiFiore announced Maffei’s arrest in a case initiated by the New York State Insurance Fund’s Division of Confidential Investigations (DCI).
According to officials, Maffei applied for and received a second Social Security number under his alternative identity in 1969 and then allegedly used dual identities for more than three decades collecting benefits to which he was not entitled.
His arrest followed a joint investigation involving NYSIF’s DCI, the state Workers’ Compensation Board Office of the Fraud Inspector General, the state Insurance Department Frauds Bureau, the U.S. Social Security Administration Office of Inspector General and the Westchester County District Attorney’s Office.
NYSIF CEO/Executive Director David P. Wehner said the case was indicative of the cooperative effort among various agencies and law enforcement authorities working together to crackdown on workers’ compensation fraud in New York State.
“This case shows the professional inter-agency cooperation underway to halt workers’ compensation fraud in New York that, since workers’ compensation reforms in 2007, has led to a steadily increasing number of successful arrests and prosecutions,” CEO Wehner said.
Maffei is said to have filed a claim for benefits with NYSIF in 1995 stemming from an injury he suffered while working as a bartender at Emily Shaw’s restaurant in Pound Ridge, New York. He has received more than $79,800 in workers’ compensation benefits since then for a partial disability and on at least five occasions filed worker activity reports indicating that he was not involved in any type of employment. During that time authorities said he also received Social Security disability benefits under the name Maffei.
However, investigators found that since 1996, Maffei allegedly worked for various stretches under the alias as a bartender at Arturo’s restaurant in Yorktown, N.Y., Colonial Terrace in Cortland, N.Y., and Long Ridge Tavern in Stamford, Conn.
Investigators also said that since October, 2006 Maffei has been observed working as a flagger for Verizon at various street excavation sites and he recently submitted an application for a license to the Westchester County Taxi and Limousine Commission attaching a copy of his Social Security card and a New York driver’s license using the name Pasquale.
Maffei was charged with workers’ compensation fraud, a felony. He faces four years in prison if convicted. Bail has been set at $10,000.
Criminal complaints and indictments are accusations only. Defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty.
Source: New York State Insurance Fund.
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