Bodybuilder's Scam Foiled by Posts on Social Media

New York man pleads guilty to $200K scam
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 21, 2022 3:00 AM CDT
Updated Jun 25, 2022 1:45 PM CDT
Social Media Posts Derailed Bodybuilder's Disability Scam
Stock photo.   (Getty Images / Tatiana)

(Newser) – In 2013, while he was working as an electrician, Anthony Ragusa fell while on the job. From 2015 to 2020, he collected more than $200,000 in disability benefits after claiming the injuries suffered in the fall left him unable to do work of any kind. His benefits application claimed he could not sit for more than 30 minutes, walk for more than 15 minutes, or bend over. But, prosecutors say, during those same years, the Long Island man, now 52, was not only working but becoming a bodybuilder, NBC New York reports. He's now pleaded guilty to second-degree larceny in the case.

Authorities scoured not just Ragusa's social media posts but those of his wife; they showed his journey to train to be a bodybuilder, and they also showed he ran a limousine business despite his claims of being unable to work, prosecutors say. The posts were later deleted, per the New York Post. Ragusa will be on probation for five years, and must repay the $200,000 in restitution to the Social Security Administration. "His illegal and shameful actions are an insult to those who actually live with disabilities, and I will always take action to bring fraudsters like Ragusa to justice on behalf of the people," New York's attorney general says in a statement. (Read more weird crimes stories.)

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