By Alex Davidson and Alex Ginsberg
Four borough men have been charged with cheating the state's workers compensation fund out of almost $70,000 during a three-year period after they were caught faking injuries and simultaneously working at paying jobs, the Queens district attorney announced.
DA Richard Brown said George Greco, 42, of 88-38 207th St. in Queens Village; Rosario DiLorenzo, 46, of 159-19 82nd St. in Howard Beach; Eddison Mathura, 34, of 132-62 114th St. in Ozone Park; and Joseph Chimenti, 60, of 22-34 77th St. in Jackson Heights were allegedly collecting benefits to which they were not entitled.
“The Workers' Compensation system was established for the protection and benefit of all working persons with legitimate needs, and so when any individual cheats the system and undermines its worthy purposes, he will be arrested and prosecuted,” Brown said in a statement March 19.
The four defendants are charged with grand larceny, insurance fraud, falsifying business records, offering a false instrument for filing and perjury, the DA said. They face up to seven years in prison if convicted.
In all cases the DA said the defendants failed to inform the Workers' Compensation Board of their employment following their disability claims.
Greco, a bus maintainer for the city Transit Authority, filed three separate claims for workers' compensation between 1986 and 1995 for back and neck injuries, the DA said. Greco collected $36,000 in benefits between 1986 and 2001, and allegedly told the TA in 2001 that he had been unable to work since sustaining his injuries, Brown added. But surveillance video obtained by the TA is said to show Greco allegedly employed as a licensed insurance agent for the All Brokerage Insurance Agency in Uniondale, L.I. between April 2001 and July 2002, the DA said.
DiLorenzo, a school bus driver, is alleged to have stolen $8,800 after filing a claim that he was disabled when he allegedly sprained his foot Nov. 19, 2001, the DA said. DiLorenzo, who said he was injured during a shift as a night supervisor loading trucks in a Kennedy Airport warehouse, received benefits between Feb. 5 and July 9, 2002 — the same time, according to the DA, that he was being paid for working at Little Linda Bus Company in Ozone Park.
Mathura, who said he sustained injuries to his left hand and wrist while working at JDG Door and Domco Door Inc. in Brooklyn, is alleged to have received $1,620 in false benefits between July 29, 2002 and Sept. 17, 2002, Brown said. He is then alleged to have worked during that period for Kishan Construction in Richmond Hill and was caught after he signed a recertification form to an insurance carrier that said he had not worked since he sustained his injury, the DA said.
Chimenti collected $22,345 in workers compensation after he claimed he was injured when the bus he drove for Green Bus Lines hit a pothole but has since been videotaped allegedly doing strenuous work and selling hubcaps at a roadside stand in Queens.
The investigations, which have been ongoing since May 2001, were a joint effort by the state Workers' Compensation Board and the state Insurance Department. The arrests were made by the Queens DA's office and will be prosecuted by the DA's Economic Crimes Bureau.
Reach reporter Alex Davidson by e-mail at TimesLedger@aol.com or by phone at 1-718-229-0300, Ext. 156