Seven people, including a 67-year-old medical doctor, have been arrested and charged in connection with various unrelated schemes to commit insurance fraud amounting to nearly $271,000. The arrests are the culmination of a joint investigation by New York State Insurance Superintendent Neil D. Levin, Bronx District Attorney Robert T. Johnson and New York State Workers’ Compensation Inspector General John H. Burgher.
The charges filed against the defendants include attempted grand larceny, grand larceny, insurance fraud and offering a false instrument for filing. Dr. Nicholas Filannino, of Pelham, New York, is accused of certifying a patient as totally disabled for the purpose of collecting disability insurance and then hiring the patient to lay carpet in his office.
Investigators from the New York State Workers’ Compensation Board had the doctor’s office under surveillance on April 27, 1999 and observed the patient, Adolfo Agovino, remove tools, knee pads and other work gear from the trunk of his car. Agovino allegedly entered the office shortly before nine o’clock in the morning and worked all day laying carpet before leaving the premises a little after seven o’clock that night.
Agovino, 40, allegedly collected more than $4,100 in disability benefits between June and October of 1998. Agovino had claimed he was unable to work because of injuries to his back and neck while employed at a construction site.
Regina Henderson, 40, has been charged with stealing nearly $8,600 in disability benefits from June 1997 to August 1998. Henderson claimed to be disabled and unemployed while allegedly operating a day care center in her home for which she received monetary compensation for the care of numerous young children. Henderson claimed to be disabled because of a fall in which she injured her wrist, head and back in 1997.
Thadeus Jackson, 41, allegedly collected $7,200 in disability benefits after claiming that he could not work because of a shoulder injury while employed as a maintenance worker at Columbia University. It is alleged that Jackson, at the same time, was receiving a salary as the superintendent of the building in which he was a resident.
William Ward, 40, has been charged with collecting more than $17,000 in disability benefits from June 1997 through November 1998 while working as a cab driver.
Yvonne Calzado, 35, is accused of collecting nearly $22,000 in reimbursements after she allegedly falsely claimed to have been hospitalized on numerous days between January 1999 and May 2000. J
oseph Meaney, 32, allegedly claimed to be unable to work because of back and neck injuries. He is accused of collecting approximately $13,000 in disability benefits between July 1996 and February 2000 while working odd jobs on various construction sites.