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

ISSUED 12/15/2010 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

TAX CASE LEADS TO WORKERS’ COMPENSATION FRAUD ARREST

A Bronx bookkeeper was arrested Wednesday after her prosecution for federal income tax fraud led to the discovery that she had illegally collected more than $135,000 in New York State workers’ compensation benefits.

Rosa Rivera, 62, began collecting $400 a week in benefits after claiming that she injured a knee, elbow and ankle while working as a bookkeeper in 2002. Then she opened an income tax service business out of her home. At the same time, she filed routine reports with the state Workers’ Compensation Board stating that her physical condition prevented her from working.

In 2005, Rivera was arrested by federal authorities and pleaded guilty to income tax fraud, admitting that she helped customers claim overstated or fictional expenses and deductions.

The New York State Insurance Fund discovered she had been improperly collecting workers’ compensation lost wage benefits while she was being investigated by federal authorities for tax fraud.

Rivera was arrested after an investigation by the New York State Insurance Department’s Frauds Bureau, the Insurance Fund and the Economic Crimes Bureau of the office of Suffolk County District Attorney Thomas J. Spota.

If she is convicted, she could be sentenced to up to seven years in prison for workers’ compensation fraud. A hearing will be held in Suffolk County Court.

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