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James J. Wrynn    Superintendent of Insurance    25 Beaver Street  New York, N.Y. 10004

ISSUED 11/23/2009 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

FISHING VIDEO USED IN ULSTER COUNTY MAN’S ARREST

Videotape showing an Ulster County man fishing waist deep in a running stream will be used as evidence against him when he is prosecuted for fraud in connection with collecting $35,000 in disability benefits.

Matthew W. Robbins, 48, of Church Street, Kerhonkson, is scheduled to appear in Kingston City Court on Tuesday. He was arrested Nov. 13 as the result of an investigation by the New York State Insurance Department’s Frauds Bureau and the New York State Insurance Fund.

Robbins claimed to have strained his back when picking up a water pump while working at a day camp. He collected disability benefits from the Insurance Fund for nearly 10 years and testified at two workers’ compensation hearings that the injury left him totally disabled and unable to work.

However, Joseph W. Kochetta Jr., of the Insurance Department’s Frauds Bureau, said investigators subsequently recorded videotape of Robbins while he was driving, power washing and repairing vehicles and fishing.

Robbins was charged with insurance fraud, committing fraudulent practices and workers’ compensation fraud. He could be sentenced to up to seven years in prison if convicted. He was released in his own recognizance pending his hearing.

The case is being prosecuted by William Andrews of the Insurance Department, who is acting as a special prosecutor for Ulster County District Attorney D. Holley Carnright.

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