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New York bodybuilder implicated in scam

A Long Island bodybuilder who spent years on disability insurance for an allegedly devastating injury was later caught pumping iron online and now the dumbbell must pay back the ill-gotten money, authorities said.

Anthony Ragusa, 52, pleaded guilty to second-degree grand theft in Suffolk County Court.

The clueless muscleman’s plan began when he suffered an accident in 2013 and claimed his injuries from his fall while working as an electrician were so severe that he was unable to work. Ragusa was also the President and owner of WhiteStar Limousine at the time he was accumulating benefits.

New York Attorney General Letitia James said in a statement that Ragusa also claimed he could not sit for more than 30 minutes or walk for more than 15 minutes.

Suspicion rose among investigators in 2017 when Ragusa – all rippling muscles, tattoos and buzz cut – was allegedly spotted powerlifting on social media.

“His illegal and shameful actions are an insult to those who actually live with disabilities." said AG Letitia James.
“His illegal and shameful actions are an insult to those who actually live with disabilities,” said AG Letitia James.
Paul Martinka for the NY Post

Investigators were able to view photos and videos of the torn Ragusa training for bodybuilding competitions on his wife’s Instagram account, according to prosecutors. The photos were later deleted.

“His illegal and shameful actions are an insult to those who actually live with disabilities and I will always take action to bring scammers like Ragusa to justice on behalf of the police,” James said in a statement.

Ragusa’s wife, Loly Ragusa, is a member of the International Federation of Bodybuilders. Ragusa was an apparent regular at the Bev Francis gym in Syosset, considered a “Mecca” for bodybuilders.

Prosecutors said Ragusa claimed benefits from January 2015 to 2020, although he continues to run a shop and pump iron.

Ragusa, who did not return messages for comment, faces five years’ probation and pays $200,000 in compensation to Social Security. If he doesn’t comply, he could be behind bars for three years.

https://nypost.com/2022/06/18/new-york-bodybuilder-caught-in-fraud-scheme/ New York bodybuilder implicated in scam

JACLYN DIAZ

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