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Cranston man pleads no contest to workers’ comp fraud
Daniel Kittredge

A Cranston man has pleaded no contest to a charge of collecting more than $10,000 in workers’ compensation insurance benefits while employed, the office of Attorney General Peter Kilmartin announced Monday.

James M. Casale, 54, with a last known address of 110 Dunedin St., entered the plea in Providence Superior Court. He received a suspended four-year sentence with probation and was ordered to pay $10,232 in restitution.

Prosecutors say between February and August of 2007, Casale failed to report that he had returned to work at his painting company, James Casale Painting and Wallpapering Inc., while he continued to receive workers’ compensation benefits.

“All Rhode Islanders pay the price when someone knowingly commits workers’ compensation fraud,” said Kilmartin in a news release. “Fraud causes higher insurance costs for employers and costs honest workers wages and benefits, with consumers eventually paying more at the cash register. With a prosecutor dedicated to handle all workers’ compensation fraud, unemployment insurance fraud and theft of wages cases, we have secured more than a dozen pleas and more than $200,000 in court-ordered restitution to the state’s safety net programs.”

Collin P. Hanrahan, an investigator with the state Department of Labor and Training Workers’ Compensation Fraud and Compliance Unit, led the investigation. Special Assistant Attorney General Genevieve Allaire Johnson prosecuted the case.

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