A former New York City Transit subway conductor has been arraigned on an indictment in which he is charged with grand larceny and other crimes for allegedly stealing approximately $114,000 in workers’ compensation payments from NYC Transit.
“This defendant allegedly stole more than $100,000 in taxpayer money by claiming he was disabled while simultaneously – and outrageously – holding down a series of law enforcement jobs in other states,” said Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez in a press release issued by his office. “We will now seek to bring him to justice and recover the funds that he fraudulently received.”
Gonzalez identified the defendant as Giovanni Seminerio, 48, of Alva, Florida. He was arraigned before Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice Dena Douglas on a 22-count indictment in which he is charged with second-degree grand larceny, first-degree offering a false instrument for filing, first-degree falsifying business records and related charges. The defendant was released and ordered to return to court on November 17, 2020.
According to the investigation, Seminerio, then a subway conductor for NYC Transit, received notification that he would be terminated on December 8, 2015, for disciplinary charges related to his operation of the trains. That same day, he claimed he had been injured during his shift the day before and sought workers’ compensation benefits.
Seminerio began receiving workers’ compensation payments on May 18, 2016. It is alleged that between October 2016 and August 2019 the defendant periodically signed documents, as required by NYC Transit, falsely certifying that he was not employed in any capacity, including a daily activity questionnaire submitted with his medical exams and an endorsement on the workers’ compensation checks he received.
From October 2016 to January 2020, Seminerio allegedly held a succession of salaried law enforcement positions, including work as a corrections officer for Monroe County, Penn., the Florida Department of Corrections and the Glades County, Fla., Sheriff’s Office. He also allegedly served as an enforcement specialist for the Lee County, Fla., Board of County Commissioners.
It is alleged that he stole approximately $114,000 as a result of his fraud. NYC Transit’s Special Investigation Unit alerted the MTA inspector general to the fraud during an internal review of workers’ compensation cases and suspended his payments in August 2019.
“NYC Transit has zero tolerance for fraud and will seek full restitution in this and any case where it is perpetrated,” said New York City Transit Interim President Sarah Feinberg in the release.
The case is being prosecuted by Senior Assistant District Attorney Abigail Rosen of the District Attorney’s Frauds Bureau with assistance from Senior Assistant District Attorney Adam Libove of the District Attorney’s Public Integrity Bureau, under the supervision of Laura Neubauer, chief of the Public Integrity Bureau, Greg Pavlides, chief of the Frauds Bureau, and Michael Spanakos, deputy chief of the Investigations Division, and the overall supervision of Patricia McNeill, chief of the Investigations Division.
Source: The Brooklyn District Attorney’s Office
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