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Eric R. Dinallo   Superintendent of Insurance  25 Beaver Street  New York, N.Y. 10004

ISSUED 12/05/2008 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

ULSTER COUNTY MAN ARRESTED FOR $77,800 WORKERS’ COMP FRAUD

An Ulster County man who claimed he was totally disabled and unable to work was arrested for fraud Wednesday after investigators produced videotapes showing him moving furniture and riding a motorcycle without the cane he appeared to lean on heavily during medical exams.

Joseph A. Gambino, 58, of 5 Simmons St., Saugerties, was arrested for fraudulently accepting more than $77,800 in workers’ compensation benefits. He was charged with insurance fraud, grand larceny, offering a false instrument for filing and workers’ compensation fraud.

Gambino was arrested by State Police at Kingston following a joint investigation by Joseph Kochetta of the New York State Insurance Department’s Frauds Bureau, David Lemerise of the New York State Workers’ Compensation Board Inspector General’s office, and John Cozzolino, an investigator with the New York State Insurance Fund.

According to Kochetta, Gambino started collecting workers’ compensation benefits from the Insurance Fund after claiming he suffered a job-related back injury. He collected benefits from May 2003 until September 2006.

However, investigators captured videotaped images of Gambino engaging in various physical activities without the cane he used when appearing for medical exams or hearings held in connection with his workers’ compensation benefits.

Gambino was released in his own recognizance following his arraignment before Kingston City Judge James Kilpatrick pending a hearing scheduled for Dec. 11. If he is convicted, Gambino could be sentenced to up to 15 years in prison.

The case is being prosecuted by the office of Ulster County District Attorney D. Holley Carnright.

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