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New York man allegedly falsified COVID-19 test results to obtain workers’ comp benefits

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Posted at 11:53 AM, Jan 19, 2022

STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. — A Staten Island man allegedly falsified multiple COVID-19 test results to obtain workers’ compensation benefits in 2020.

According to New York State Inspector General Lucy Lang, 23-year-old Ajani Shaw was arraigned Tuesday in Richmond County Supreme Court on the following charges:

  • One count of Grand Larceny in the 4th Degree (Felony)
  • One count of Insurance Fraud in the 4th Degree (Felony)
  • Seven counts of Forgery in the 3rd Degree (A Misdemeanor)
  • Seven counts of Falsifying Business Records in the 1st Degree (Felony)
  • Seven counts of Workers’ Compensation Fraudulent Practices (Felony)

The inspector general said in March 2020, Shaw was working as a part-time kitchen service employee at Staten Island’s Seaview Nursing Home and filed a workers’ compensation claim for exposure to COVID-19.

This included an April 3, 2020 “out-of-work” note signed by a physician and an April 8, 2020-dated positive COVID-19 test to the insurance carrier. The insurer then began paying him $150 a week in worker's compensation benefits.

Later, Shaw submitted a COVID-19 positive test result dated April 19, 2020, and an “out-of-work” note dated April 22, 2020, via email in support of extending his claim and benefit.

Additionally, from May 8 to August 8, 2020, Shaw submitted six additional COVID-19 positive test results and was paid workers' compensation benefits through July 24, 2020.

According to the inspector general, the carrier then noticed that many positive test results used the same specimen ID.

An investigation revealed two COVID-19 positive test results Shaw submitted were legitimate, and he was seen by a physician twice in April, but he was not seen again until August 2020.

Shaw submitted a total of six fabricated positive test results to the insurance carrier in addition to a June 2020 false medical note. He received $150 a week and $1,761 in total.

Anthony Reyes at WKBW in Buffalo, New York, first reported this story.