New York investigators have arrested seven people for workers’ comp fraud as part of a three-county sweep in Upstate New York.
In one instance, the investigators used surveillance video to record a Poughkeepsie man, Nicholas Fortuso, walking freely for nearly a mile — and carrying a walker under his arm — before he testified that a job-related injury left him unable to walk or stand unassisted.
Others arrested as part of the sweep include a woman who cashed checks intended for her deceased father-in-law, a man accused of illegally collecting $60,500 and a Middletown business owner. Those charged in the sweep were John Lanza, of Colonie; Andrew Motkowicz, of Watervliet, Peter M. Pelech, of Watervliet, Royal Steves, of Queensbury, Khurram Khan, of Middletown, and Marjorie A. Forbes, of Castleton.
Insurance Superintendent James Wrynn said: “These arrests should serve as a warning to others who would steal from the system that there are effective procedures in place to detect workers’ compensation violations and bring offenders to justice.”
Added Workers’ Compensation Board Chair Robert Beloten: “We will not allow dishonest employers and workers to take illegal advantage of the workers’ compensation system and exploit this important safety net for competitive or monetary gain.”
The investigations leading to the arrests were prompted after irregularities were discovered during audits of workers’ compensation claims by several of the individuals and routine reviews of workers’ compensation certificates filed by two of the individuals who ran businesses.
Source: New York State Insurance Department
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