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New York workers’ compensation arrests add up to $600,000 in fraud
A correctional officer working as a bouncer while claiming an injury, a business owner underreporting his paid staff and a construction company using a forged insurance certificate were among those arrested and accused of fraud by New York’s largest workers’ compensation insurance carrier.
The New York Sate Insurance Fund announced a series of investigations that led to seven arrests and frauds costing more than $600,000.
NYSIF Chief Deputy Executive Director Francine James said as the state’s largest workers’ compensation carrier, it “has an obligation to crack down on fraud and that’s an obligation we take very seriously.
“Workers’ compensation fraud is a felony that leads to an enormous drain on New York State resources, and taxes every law abiding citizen and business through increased costs for insurance, goods and other services,” James said in a statement.
Among those arrested in the recent crack down were Brian Haight, 46, of Beacon, N.Y., who allegedly obtained $5,684 fraudulently by collecting $196 per week for an injury sustained as a New York State correctional officer. Investigators found that Haight allegedly returned to work as a bouncer for a local night club while collecting benefits.
He faces charges of violating the state’s workers’ compensation law, fraudulent practices, grand larceny and two counts of offering a false instrument following his Oct. 21 arrest.
Tiffany Ford, 38, of Brighton, N.Y., was also arrested and faces a host of charges.
During a NYSIF audit, Ford, doing business as Village Roofing, allegedly told the agency that she had one worker employed to do casual labor. Investigators later discovered Ford allegedly acted on behalf of another NYSIF policyholder who did roofing jobs while employing more than one worker.
The owner of a restaurant and supermarket beverage distributor, Domenick Capelli, was arrested and charged in a case of more than $30,000 in alleged fraud. Investigators said Capelli, 52, of the Bronx, N.Y., allegedly underreported payroll to avoid paying the proper premium for his workers’ compensation policy.
Also arrested in the sting were: Peter Veltri, 47, of Floral Park, N.Y., for allegedly obtaining claims for injury while working as a Department of Motor Vehicles estimator; Thore Foss, 42, of Lake Ronkonkoma, N.Y., who allegedly used a forged insurance certificate to show proof of coverage for work as Thore Construction Co.; Marcos Gamboa, 26, of Sea Cliff, N.Y., for allegedly collecting payments while also working at a bagel shop; and Robin Ardiano, 30, of Hempstead, N.Y., who allegedly collected payments while also working as a maintenance worker in Long Island apartment complex.