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

ISSUED 06/09/2010 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

HANDYMAN FACES SEVEN YEARS FOR WORKERS’ COMP FRAUD

A 60-year-old Red Hook man got workers’ compensation payments after he swore he could hardly get out of the house and could not even walk after a work-related injury. But former Poughkeepsie Housing Authority employee Philip Silvernail of 5 Hewlett Road, still managed to both carry and paint on a ladder, replace window shutters and an outside deck, install awnings and stair rails, and operate a backhoe, according to a New York State Insurance Department investigation.

Silvernail had been awarded total disability payments by the New York State Insurance Fund after reporting a back injury on his job at the Housing Authority in January 1992. This alleged misrepresentation of his work status resulted in an overpayment from the State Insurance Fund in the amount of $20,546.20. Now Silvernail faces up to seven years in state prison after being charged with insurance fraud in the third degree.

Silvernail was arrested on June 7, processed at the Dutchess County Sheriff’s office and transported to the Village of Red Hook Town Justice Court where he was arraigned before Town Justice Jonah Triebwasser and released on his own recognizance to reappear on June 24.

Senior Investigator J. W. Kochetta, Jr., conducted the investigation for the Insurance Department, assisted by Investigator John Cozzolino of the New York State Insurance Fund. Detective Vincent Stelmach of the Dutchess County Sheriff’s Office assisted in the arrest. The case is being handled by Dutchess County Assistant District Attorney Anthony Parisi.

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