2007_05_drumkit.jpgThe Brooklyn DA's office arrested four NYC Transit Authority workers for trying to bilk the Workers' Compensation system of thousands of dollars for "injuries they either never sustained or grossly exaggerated." For instance, there's Valerie Scroggins, a bus driver who said that she suffered a shoulder injury last September. Between September and January of this year, she received $13,348.98 in checks for her injury. But in November, she took a fateful trip to Europe.

MTA investigators actually followed Scroggins to Amsterdam and Dublin as she went on tour with her band ESG - Scroggins is the drummer - and filmed her playing "drums for an hour or more and on every song the band played, doing things very similar to actions she told her employers she could not perform," per the Brooklyn DA's press release. Also: "After the concert in Dublin, she autographed the cover of an ESG compact disc the investigator had bought and posed for pictures with him."

Train operator Louis Guadagni said he injured his back and leg on the job, and said he couldn't lift heavy objects. However, investigators caught him carrying a beer keg at the Key Food he owns in Brooklyn. Ricardo Yolas, a car inspector, suppoedly hurt his back, but actually worked at his business in the Poconos, cleaning hotel rooms. And then there's Steven Sanfilippo, a bus driver who said his back and neck injuries prevented him from eating and bathing without help, who was found picking up dry cleaning, carrying bags, and working at his realty office. The local TV stations showed footage of some of the transit workers going about their business - pretty interesting!

While Yolas' attorney did not comment, Guadagni, Sanfilippo and Scroggins' representation say they are innocent and genuinely injured. Scroggins' lawyer said, "The injured arm is actually lame on the tape. It actually is injured. It wouldn't be prudent for someone who can't properly operate a bus to operate a bus."

MTA NYC Transit President Howard Roberts said, "Employees who fraudulently collect Workers’ Compensation payments are stealing from NYC Transit and their fellow employees. The money they are stealing could otherwise go to improvements in employee safety and customer services. I congratulate the NYC Transit Law Department’s Special Investigations Unit and District Attorney Hynes and his staff on this case.”