A New York City sanitation worker has been charged with attempting to scheme workers compensation benefits for an injury that he faked. Ricky Cernera claimed that in November 2008 he tripped and fell in from of a Manhattan-owned clinic which resulted in a broken wrist. Cernera said the fall was a result of a faulty sidewalk in front of the clinic. The worker was already on sick leave at the time he made the claim.
At the time of the supposed incident, Cernera was headed to a doctor’s appointment to evaluate his ability to return to work from a previous accident unrelated to the fall. So far, New York City has paid out more than $7,600 in medical bills and were subjected to a lawsuit in the case before investigators were able to determine there was no fall. Surveillance footage obtained by investigators showed Cernera walking to the clinic looking at his wrist
The 49 year old Nyack, NY resident was released with bail after he pled guilty to grand larceny, perjury, and other related charges. In 2009, he sued the city for damages no specified but court records show the case was closed during the next year. Investigators said Cernera withdrew the case after the agency made inquiries into his claims.
Workers compensation fraud is on the rise and more arrests are being made related to such fraud around the country. Cernera stands to face seven years in prison if convicted on his charges. At the time of Cernera’s retirement in 2009, he had logged 21 years on the job and was making $64,000 a year.