During his May 12 arraignment, 54-year-old Chathapuram Kumar pled not guilty to grand larceny, insurance fraud, and falsifying business records. The charges carry a maximum prison sentence of 15 years.
In February of 2004, Kumar filed for disability benefits from social security, claiming he was unable to work due to fatigue, leg weakness, and other symptoms of post-polio syndrome, according to the district attorney. The D.A. said he also filed with his health insurance provider.
According to his attorney, Kumar paid the Social Security Administration $150,000 in the day of his arraignment and is currently working toward a full repayment.
The D.A. said that while he was collecting monthly payments of $7,000, Kumar was observed going to work in November 2006 at an information technology firm based out of Great Neck, New York without crutches and entering his vehicle without assistance.