If you live in the Coral Springs area of Florida, there may be times when you will need legal help in the form of a South Florida workers compensation attorney. This was exactly the case for one man who was arrested in late December 2016. The man, who is from Orlando, Florida, ended up arrested after going out on a boating excursion. The outing helped to nail him for an alleged workers’ compensation insurance fraud scheme.
Jeff Atwater, a chief financial officer, announced on Friday, December 23, 2016 that Ricardo Aponte had been arrested. Aponte was arrested on charges stemming from “an elaborate scam” that saw him claiming that he had suffered a serious neck injury that prevented him from working or even bending his body.
According to the allegations that led to Aponte’s arrest, his employer had paid him more than $500,000 in workers’ compensation benefits since as far back as 2007. Those benefits even included a motorized wheelchair. However, after some time, employees at the insurance company grew suspicious. As a result, the state Division of Investigative and Forensic Services, an organization that is overseen by Atwater, started to conduct surveillance on Aponte to monitor his everyday activities.
As a result of the surveillance, the state Division of Investigative and Forensic Services saw Aponte moving around without the motorized wheelchair or any other medical device while conducting his normal everyday activities. Those who were observing him also spotted him cleaning his boat without assistance at one point. During another time, they saw him go a few steps further in even physically pushing his boat off of its trailer and into the water without assistance.
After the surveillance, and as a result of these actions, according to Atwater, Aponte was swiftly charged with workers’ compensation fraud, making false statements to back up a disability claim, filing false and fraudulent insurance claims and grand theft.
Because of his actions, Aponte’s charges are punishable by full restitution. He may face a fine of $10,000 and as long as 30 years in prison.
For all the individuals who commit workers compensation fraud there are a greater number more who genuinely deserve compensation for work related injuries. If you believe you are due compensation contact a South Florida workers compensation attorney immediately. The Law Offices of Evan M. Ostfeld, P.A. will fight for your rights every step of the way in your case.