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

ISSUED 3/16/2010 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

VIDEO LEADS TO BUFFALO ARREST FOR WORKERS’ COMP FRAUD

Videotape showing a Buffalo man repairing a BMW led to his arrest Thursday for collecting $3,850 in workers’ compensation benefits he accepted after testifying that he was physically unable to walk without assistance or even go grocery shopping.

The New York State Insurance Department reported that Jose Padilla, 45, of Church Street, was arrested following a joint investigation by the Department’s Frauds Bureau and Travelers Insurance Company investigators.

Padilla, who was released pending a future court hearing, started collecting workers’ compensation benefits after suffering a back injury while working at a salt factory. Last year, he testified at a workers’ compensation hearing that the injury prevented him from working or engaging in normal activities, such as going to the grocery store.

However, surveillance investigators captured videotapes of Padilla showing him working on a car and moving about without assistance.

Padilla was arrested by Buffalo police and charged with grand larceny and workers’ compensation fraud. He could be sentenced to up to seven years in prison if he is convicted.

Assistant District Attorney Justin Wallance is prosecuting the case in Erie County Court.

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