NY Home Improvement Work Brings WC Fraud Charge

                               New York, NY (CompNewsNetwork) - State police in Oneonta arrested a self-employed home improvement contractor who allegedly worked while receiving workers' compensation benefits from the New York State Insurance Fund.

David Pantalone, 46, of Laurens, New York, is facing felony fraud charges of offering a false instrument for filing and fraudulent practices following his arrest on June 29.

Investigators said he reported a work-related injury while employed by Opportunities for Otsego, a community action agency, in which he said he slipped on ice in a parking lot in December 2009.

The arrest followed a joint investigation by NYSIF's Division of Confidential Investigations and the New York State Insurance Department Frauds Bureau. The investigation revealed that although Mr. Pantalone allegedly began working as early as January 2010, he signed sworn statements telling NYSIF that he had not returned to any form of work.

Investigators said he collected $3,888 to which he was not entitled while allegedly working beyond the limits of his disability. They estimated that future savings on Mr. Pantalone's claim would amount to more than $37,000.

Criminal complaints and indictments are accusations only. Defendants are innocent until proven guilty.

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