In a press statement on 19 January, the New York state office of the Inspector General said Ajani Shaw, 23, had been charged with a count of grand larceny and insurance fraud each and seven counts each for forgery, falsifying business records and Workers’ Compensation Fraudulent Practices.
Authorities said Mr Shaw was working as a part-time kitchen service employee with a nursing home in April 2020 when he filed a workers’ compensation claim for exposure to Covid.
He also included an “out-of-work” note signed by a physician and an 8 April 2020-dated positive Covid test to the insurance carrier.
The insurer then began paying Shaw $150 (£110) per week in workers’ compensation benefits.
He subsequently submitted six more positive Covid results from 8 May to 8 August 2020 and an “out-of-work” note prescribing four more weeks of quarantine.
The insurance carrier continued to pay benefits to Mr Shaw till 24 July that year, when it noticed many of the positive test results used the same specimen ID.
While his documents from April showed genuine Covid-positive results, the rest were found to be false.
“In total, the investigation found that Shaw submitted six fabricated positive test reports to the insurance carrier in addition to the June 2020 false medical note,” the statement said.
“Because of these submissions, Shaw continued to receive $150/week in benefits, totalling $1,761 [£1,301] in indemnity payments.”
Inspector general Lucy Lang thanked the Richmond County Supreme Court and said: “Workers’ Compensation insurance is essential to the success of our state’s workforce and businesses, and all the more so during times of crisis.”
“Thanks to our partners at the Staten Island District Attorney’s Office for helping ensure the integrity of this vital safety net,” Ms Lang added.
It is not known whether Mr Shaw has a lawyer, reported NBC News.