A former subway conductor is being accused of fraudulently obtaining approximately $114,000 in workers’ compensation payments from NYC Transit over the course of several years even though he was allegedly not injured.
Giovanni Seminerio, 48, of Alva, FL, is charged with grand larceny, offering a false instrument for filing, falsifying business records, and related charges. He was released and ordered to return to court on November 17. Attorney information was not available.
The accused was allegedly notified by NYC Transit that he would be terminated on December 8, 2015, for disciplinary charges related to his work. That same day, he claimed he suffered an injury during his shift on the previous day and applied for workers’ compensation benefits, according to the indictment.
He started receiving workers’ compensation payments in May 2016. Between October 2016 and August 2019, he allegedly periodically signed documents, as required by his former employer, falsely certifying that he was unemployed, and submitted a daily activity questionnaire with his medical records and an endorsement on the checks he received.
The indictment claims that from October 2016 to January 2020, he purportedly held several salaried law enforcement positions, including employment as a corrections officer for Monroe County, the Glades County Sheriff’s Office, and the Florida Department of Corrections. He also served as an enforcement specialist for the Lee County Board of County Commissioners, sources indicate.
“The defendant allegedly stole more than $100,000 in taxpayer money by claiming he was disabled while simultaneously—and outrageously—holding down a series of law enforcement jobs in other states,” said Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez in a press release issued by his office. “We will now seek to bring him to justice and recover the funds he fraudulently received.”
The defendant from Florida reportedly received approximately $114,000 as a result of the alleged fraud. NYC Transit’s Special Investigation Unit alerted the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) inspector general of his alleged fraud during an internal review of workers’ compensation cases. His payments were suspended in August 2019.
“This scam artist suddenly suffered a convenient ‘injury,’ when faced with imminent termination as an MTA subway conductor yet was fit enough to relocate to other states and hold a series of law enforcement jobs,” said MTA Inspector General Carolyn Pokomy. “All the while he was double-dipping—collecting a salary as a corrections officer and other positions of authority, while lining his pockets with disability payments funded by New York’s taxpayers, as alleged in the indictment.”
Workers’ compensation insurance provides employees with reimbursement for medical expenses, rehabilitation, and lost wages in the event of a workplace injury or illness. With some very few exceptions, almost every employer is legally required to have workers’ compensation coverage.
Workers’ compensation fraud is often prosecuted aggressively. If you are under investigation for this type of fraud, you should immediately contact an experienced white collar crime defense attorney. Even if you are innocent of any criminal conduct, it is not in your best interest to speak with law enforcement about criminal allegations until you have retained a lawyer.
South Florida Workers’ Compensation Fraud Attorney
Are you accused of committing workers’ comp fraud in South Florida? Contact Brian Silber, P.A. to set up a free initial consultation with one of South Florida’s most experienced workers’ compensation defense attorneys.