New York State Insurance Department Superintendent Gregory Serio, Queens District Attorney Richard Brown, and New York State Workers’ Compensation Fraud Inspector General John Burgher Jr., announced that a truck driver has been charged with reportedly defrauding the State Workers’ Compensation system of $78,540 and attempting to defraud the State Insurance Fund of $105,000 by falsely claiming that he was unable to work due to a 1997 job-related injury when actually he was employed full time.
The District Attorney identified the defendant as William Alston, 52, of Jamaica, Queens. The defendant has been charged with Grand Larceny in the Second Degree; Attempted Grand Larceny in the Second Degree, Insurance Fraud in the Second Degree; Scheme to Defraud in the First Degree; Falsifying Business Records in the First Degree and Section 114 of the Workers’ Compensation Law and faces up to 15 years in prison if convicted.
The investigation began in August, 2002 when the State Workers’ Compensation Board received an anonymous complaint alleging that the defendant was ripping off the system.
The investigation disclosed that the defendant was employed by David Rosen Bakers at 350 Meserole Street in Brooklyn as a truck driver earning about $40,000 a year. He allegedly submitted a claim for worker’s compensation in March, 1997 in which he asserted that on Jan. 10, 1997 he had been struck by a hand truck while loading a shipment of bakery goods and had sustained an abdominal injury that had left him unable to work. The investigation further revealed that the defendant did not remain unemployed due to his injury. Over a year later, in November, 1998, he became employed as a truck driver for Finest Foods at 87-21 76th Street in Woodhaven, Queens. While employed by Finest Foods, the defendant is alleged to have wrongfully collected over $78,000 in compensation benefits from 1998 to February, 2003.
Investigators learned that the defendant evaded detection by allegedly using two different Social Security numbers and two separate addresses in documents he submitted requesting compensation benefits from the State Insurance Fund.
The defendant is charged with having fraudulently collected a total of $78,540 in workers’ compensation benefits between September, 1998 and February, 2002 and also with having attempted to settle the case on Oct. 7, 2002 by signing a settlement agreement of $105,000 with the State Insurance Fund.
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