Martial arts require participants to punch and kick. So one could reason that you’d have to be in pretty good shape, have good balance and be free from injury to take part. A Staten Island lineman, who worked for a large telephone company in the area, claimed he was injured on the job and continued to receive worker’s compensation benefits even after he became a martial arts instructor.
The former lineman received worker’s compensation benefits for approximately five years before he began teaching martial arts. (The kickboxing business where he taught was owned and operated by his wife and cousin. How convenient.)
During the time that he claimed he was unable to work as a telephone company lineman due to his sustained injuries, he was demonstrating kicks and power punches during class despite his doctor’s orders. (His ruse came to an end after being caught on surveillance video.)
The 49-year-old former lineman pleaded guilty to illegally receiving $37,500 in worker’s compensation benefits he was not entitled to receive. He agreed to pay restitution in that amount and will forfeit any future worker’s compensation benefits.
Sometimes it is amusing to watch fraudsters who think they will never get caught for their illegal activities. Perhaps this criminal thought that after five years, no one would be checking on him and his claimed injuries. Whatever his assumption was, he was wrong and now the government has dealt a powerful blow. It looks like he has been kicked out of the worker’s compensation system for good.
Source: Today’s ”Fraud of the Day” is based on an article entitled, ”’Injured’ Verizon worker pleaded guilty in Workers Comp scam,” published by The New York Post on December 20, 2016.
A Staten Island phone worker pleaded guilty to stealing more than $37,000 in workers’ compensation benefits by claiming job-related injuries while he taught kickboxing.
Eugene Reems, 49, of Colony Avenue, pleaded guilty in Staten Island Supreme Court, state Inspector General Catherine Leahy Scott and Staten Island District Attorney Mike McMahon said Tuesday.