After struggling a fall at work in 2013, Anthony Ragusa’s life modified drastically, he reported on his software for incapacity advantages, state prosecutors in New York mentioned. It damage to bend over to tie his footwear, he had issue strolling for greater than quarter-hour and sitting for greater than 30. Working, he wrote, was out of the query.
However Ragusa’s social media footprint informed a special story.
On Instagram, he was an “avid weightlifter,” prosecutors mentioned.
And his spouse’s social media posts of the now-52-year-old lifting and coaching in gyms have been utilized in court docket to cost him with fraudulently gathering greater than $200,000 in incapacity advantages from 2015 to 2020, based on a information launch from the New York Lawyer Normal’s Workplace.
Ragusa pleaded responsible on June 14 earlier than State Supreme Courtroom Decide Anthony Senft Jr. in Suffolk County Courtroom, based on the discharge.
“Ragusa swindled taxpayers by claiming the advantages for himself, however was caught in his fraudulent scheme when his spouse posted bodybuilding pictures of him on-line,” Lawyer Normal Letitia James mentioned within the launch.
McClatchy Information was unable to achieve Ragusa’s lawyer.
Ragusa, who’s previously from Huntington, pleaded responsible to at least one rely of second-degree grand larceny, which is a category C felony, based on the discharge. He pays $200,000 in restitution to the Social Safety Administration and might be on probation for 5 years, the discharge mentioned.
In 2013, Ragusa utilized for incapacity advantages reportedly from a fall on the job as an electrician, based on the information launch. The harm prevented him from working in any capability, officers say Ragusa reported.
Through the time he was disabled, Ragusa collected earnings because the president and proprietor of a limousine service, WhiteStar Limousine, and commenced his bodybuilding journey, officers mentioned.
“In depth video and photographic proof from Ragusa’s spouse’s Instagram account confirmed that, starting in 2017, Ragusa started a bodily transformation right into a bodybuilder,” the discharge mentioned. “On the Instagram account, Ragusa could possibly be seen lifting heavy weights and coaching for bodybuilding competitions, typically at Bev Francis fitness center, generally known as ‘The Mecca’ for bodybuilders.”
James first introduced Ragusa’s arrest on Could 20, 2021.
Huntington is about 38 miles northeast of New York Metropolis.