Insurance Fraud NEWS
Injured New York state employee allegedly works as cabby
January 21, 2019, Monsey, NY
A state employee with a side taxi business and outside jobs in local municipalities was arrested on charges that he engaged in several fraudulent activities resulting in his theft of more than $100,000 in workers’ compensation benefits and Medicaid payments.
Raphael Ziegler, 41, of Monsey, who is a fire protection specialist with the state Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services, was charged with grand larceny, insurance fraud, two counts of falsifying business records and two counts each of workers compensation crimes of failure to secure compensation and fraudulent practices, all felonies.
The charges allege Ziegler worked several side jobs and a side business while out from his state job on workers’ comp disability leave, and that the Medicaid taxi transportation business he began the day he first went out on leave was operated illegally as it failed to provide workers’ compensation benefits for its employees. As such, the company was not eligible to provide Medicaid transportation services for which it was paid more than $77,000 from March 2016 through June 2018.
A state investigation determined Ziegler was previously employed at the state’s Rockland Psychiatric Center as a safety and security officer and suffered a work-related injury there on March 20, 2016. For that reported injury, he went out on workers’ compensation leave through late June and then again from mid-July through mid-December 2016. During each of those absences, he attended several workers’ comp medical exams, each time claiming he was not working in any capacity while out on leave collecting benefits.
The investigation determined Ziegler held several jobs while out on leave from his state job, including a part-time position as Village of New Hempstead code enforcement officer, as a hazmat instructor for the Rockland County Emergency Services, and running and driving for his taxi business.
During his leave, he also responded to 44 emergency calls as a member of the Monsey Fire Department. In total, the charges allege he received over $24,000 in workers’ comp benefits to which he was not entitled.