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November 7, 2002 - Former City Employees Arrested For False Disability Claims

Two former New York City employees were arrested for allegedly filing nearly $500,000 in false disability claims, Brooklyn District Attorney Charles Hynes said Wednesday. According to prosecutors, Jose Solis, 49, a former subway conductor, was declared "permanently partially disabled" in 1992, allowing him to collect disability payments from the city. But in August, investigators videotaped Solis working as a bus driver for the Metro-Dade Transit Agency in Florida. William Perazzo, a 60-year-old former school shop teacher at IS 561 in Staten Island, claimed disability from September 1997 until last month. But prosecutors said that detectives witnessed Perazzo walking without any difficulty and working in a Brooklyn ice cream parlor.

The two men had both claimed soft-tissue injuries in slip-and-fall cases, prosecutors said. Officials said Solis received $107,850 in compensation, including $74,690 that he received after taking a job in Florida in 1993. Perazzo received $345,519 in compensation, said prosecutors.

Solis and Perazzo were charged with grand larceny, insurance fraud and offering a false instrument and could face up to 15 years in prison if convicted. Alex Fox, Solis' lawyer in Florida, his client would soon arrive in New York to face the charges. Jerilyn Bell, an attorney for Perazzo, said his client is innocent and will fight the charges. Perazzo is free on $2,500 bail.

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