Boston, MA police officer charged in injury scam

March 25th, 2010 - 12:43 am ICT by BNO News  

BOSTON (BNO NEWS) – A Massachusetts police officer was charged Tuesday with fraud involving his work-related disability claim, prosecutors said Wednesday.

Eliezer Gonzalez, 48, of Boston, Massachusetts, allegedly defrauded the City of Boston and a private supplemental insurer by going out on injured leave after allegedly suffering on-the-job injuries in September 2007. He subsequently began receiving tax-free injured pay and also filed for accidental disability retirement.

The indictment states that Gonzalez exaggerated and falsified both his injuries and ongoing physical issues, fraudulently collecting both injured leave pay from the City of Boston as well as supplemental insurance benefits.

Furthermore, Gonzalez was allegedly videotaped faking injuries on or near the same days that he was recorded acting injury-free. As a result, he was required to have regular medical evaluations at the Boston Police Department Headquarters.

According to the indictment, Gonzalez arrived walking slowly with a cane and accompanied by associates who assisted him during those appointments, but it is also alleged that Gonzalez was videotaped and photographed prior to and after the medical appointments walking normally and without a cane.

Gonzalez showed up for his medical evaluation in May 2008, again, using a cane, acting debilitated, and with assistance, but several days later, he allegedly traveled to Vietnam and toured Ho Chi Minh City, participating in various strenuous tourist activities in an unimpaired fashion and without the aid of a cane, videotaping himself as he rode on the back of a moped weaving through a crowded street.

Gonzalez, if convicted, will face up to 20 years’ imprisonment, followed by three years of supervised release and a $250,000 fine on each count of the 34 mail fraud counts.

“The allegations against Mr. Gonzalez are an affront to the honest men and women of the Boston Police Department. The fraudulent disability claims he allegedly made denigrate officers and other public servants who are truly disabled in the line of duty,” United States Attorney Carmen M. Ortiz said.

The case was investigated by the FBI and the Boston Police Department, and it is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Eugenia M. Carris of Ortiz’s Public Corruption Unit.

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