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

ISSUED 6/25/2010 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CHENANGO COUNTY MAN CONVICTED OF WORKERS’ COMP FRAUD

A Chenango County Court jury on Wednesday convicted an Afton man of illegally collecting $66,000 in workers’ compensation benefits while operating a fish stocking business near his home.
Edward Panus, who ran the Ponderosa Fish Farm, was accused of earning thousands of dollars through his business while claiming that a previous job-related injury prevented him from working. He was found guilty of submitting numerous work activity reports falsely stating that he was not working in any capacity.

Panus, 60, was convicted on charges of offering a false instrument for filing and workers’ compensation fraud. Both charges are felonies and he could be sentenced to up to three to four years in prison.

Judge W. Howard Sullivan ordered a probation report prior to scheduling a date for sentencing.
The case was prosecuted by District Attorney Joseph McBride following an investigation by the New York State Insurance Department’s Frauds Bureau, the New York State Insurance Fund’s Division of Confidential Investigations and state police at Sidney.

Panus started collecting workers’ compensation benefits after suffering a back injury while moving sheet rock in 1988.

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