Man submitted fake Covid tests for months to collect workers' comp, N.Y. official says

·1 min read
Gabriel Bouys

A Staten Island man accused of submitting multiple fake positive Covid-19 tests so that he could stay home from work and collect workers' compensation for months has been arrested, authorities said Wednesday.

Ajani Shaw, 23, is charged with one count of grand larceny, one count of insurance fraud and seven counts each of forgery, falsifying business records and worker's compensation fraudulent practices, according to a statement from the office of New York State Inspector General Lucy Lang.

Shaw was working part time in a kitchen at a nursing home in April 2020 when he filed a workers compensation claim for exposure to Covid-19, the statement said. Included in his claim was a physician's note and a positive Covid test.

Shaw began collecting $150 a week in workers' compensation.

He then submitted seven more positive Covid-19 tests and two more physician's notes stating he should remain out of work, through August.

"The carrier continued to pay benefits to Shaw through July 24, 2020, when the carrier noticed that many of the positive test results used the same specimen ID," the statement said. He was paid more than $1,700 in workers compensation benefits.

Investigators determined that two of the positive tests Shaw submitted in April were real, and the rest were fakes, officials said. One of the doctor's notes was also a fake.

“Workers’ Compensation insurance is essential to the success of our state’s workforce and businesses, and all the more so during times of crisis,” Lang said. “Thanks to our partners at the Staten Island District Attorney’s Office for helping ensure the integrity of this vital safety net.”

It's unclear if Shaw has a lawyer.