NEW YORK (WHDH) - A man who claimed he had difficulty walking for more than 15 minutes at a time fraudulently collected more than $200,000 in disability benefits while training for bodybuilding competitions, authorities said.

Anthony Ragusa, 50, of Huntington, New York, falsely represented to the Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance that he was unable to work and perform daily activities as a result of injuries caused by a 2013 fall while he was an electrician, according to N.Y. Attorney General Letitia James.

He allegedly collected disability benefits while president and owner of White Star Limousine, in which the DA’s office says he continued to earn an income.

Ragusa was also allegedly an avid weightlifter, with videos and photos from his wife’s Instagram account showing his physical transformation into a bodybuilder beginning in 2017.

“Disability benefits exist to help those who need a safety net when their bodies cannot fulfill day-to-day obligations,” James said. “While cheating the state out of thousands of dollars, Anthony Ragusa was simultaneously running a business and posing for pictures of his bodybuilding on the internet. Fraudulently collecting these benefits was not only a shameful slap in the face to those who actually live with disabilities but a vast waste of taxpayer dollars. My office will not hesitate to pursue those who defraud our system and saddle our state with debt.”

Ragusa applied for benefits in 2013, claiming that in addition to having difficulty walking for more than 15 minutes, he also had a hard time bending over to put on shoes and sitting for more than 30 minutes, the DA’s office said.

He allegedly continued that the pain from his injuries prevented him from working in any capacity.

Ragusa maintained his eligibility in hearings and written reports from January 2015 to 2020 despite continuing to run a business and lift weights, according to the DA’s office.

He was arraigned Thursday on one count of grand larceny in the second degree and one count of a false instrument for filing in the first degree.

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