A federal tax fraud case against a Bronx tax preparer touched off a workers’ comp fraud case against the woman who is now charged with wrongly collecting over $135,000 in benefits, officials said.
Rosa Rivera has already been charged by federal authorities with filing false tax returns for clients of her tax preparation service. Those charges tipped off state investigators that Rivera had been working as a self-employed tax preparer from 2004 to October of 2009 while receiving workers’ compensation payments of $400 a week from the New York State Insurance Fund (NYSIF).
Rivera had claimed she was unemployed during that period. She had been receiving workers’ compensation benefits since 2002 after reporting a work-related injury to her knee while employed as a bookkeeper.
In September, Rivera pleaded guilty in federal court to a charge of filing false income tax returns for various clients, placed on two years probation and ordered to pay $152,000 in restitution.
State authorities arrested her earlier this month for workers’ compensation insurance fraud, as well. The amount of the alleged fraud against totals $135,000 so far, the NYSIF said, with a potential future loss of $200,000 had the fraud not been discovered.
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