Woman Paid $9K by MTA for Falling Off Bus Turned Out to Be Lying: Police
KIPS BAY — A woman who collected more than $9,000 from the MTA for medical bills after claiming she fell out of a city bus has been arrested and will have to repay the funds after investigators say she was lying about the accident, the NYPD said.
Reyna Geraldino, 51, submitted an insurance claim saying that the driver of an M15 bus had closed the door on her arm, causing her to fall out onto the pavement at East 28th Street and Second Avenue on Sept. 17, 2012, according to police.
However, surveillance footage from the bus showed Geraldino tripping and falling as she ran toward it, getting hurt before she ever got on the bus, according to the Kings County District Attorney's office.
As a result of Geraldino's insurance claim, called a no-fault application, the New York City Transit Authority paid more than $9,000 to her medical providers, said MTA spokesman Kevin Ortiz, who declined to say when the money was paid or what Geraldino's treatments were.
But when investigators finally looked at video and spoke to witnesses who had been on the bus, they discovered that Geraldino was not even riding the bus at the time, police and the MTA said. Geraldino was arrested April 1, a year and a half after the incident, police said.
“After viewing the security video, our legal department referred the matter to internal investigators who interviewed several witnesses, including the bus operator, as well as obtaining and reviewing questionable medical records that completed the full picture of Geraldino’s deception,” Ortiz said.
“[We] are working to recoup that money,” Ortiz said.
Geraldino was arraigned in Brooklyn Criminal Court April 2 on charges of insurance fraud, perjury, filing a false incident report and other charges and was released without bail, according to court documents. She is due back in court on June 10.
Information about her attorney was not immediately available.
Other notable crimes that occurred at the 13th Precinct include:
► A 43-year-old man was caught videotaping up a woman’s skirt in Union Square Park, police said.
Police spotted Vicente Fernandez Palaguachi walking around a crowd in the park, near Union Square East and East 14th Street, placing a black plastic bag underneath a woman’s skirt at 3:35 p.m. on April 5, according to the criminal complaint.
An officer confiscated the bag and found it had a cellphone inside with the video recording function activated and an extra battery pack, the complaint stated.
Palaguachi was charged with unlawful surveillance and is due back in court on Aug. 11.
His attorney did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
► A 29-year-old man stole a bag containing a debit card and clothing from a 68-year-old homeless woman who was dozing inside of the McDonald's at 809 Sixth Ave., police said.
The woman's bag — which held a debit card, social security card, photos, a jewelry case, clothing and a Bruce Lee book — was on the floor next to her when Ross Bagley swiped the items at 12:25 a.m. on April 3, police said.
Bagley was charged with grand larceny. Information regarding his lawyer was not immediately available.
McDonald’s did not immediately respond to a request for comment.