Broward Sheriff's Officer Nicolas Carreno Caught on Video, Charged With Insurance Fraud | New Times Broward-Palm Beach

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Video Catches Ex-BSO Officer Allegedly Faking Disability

A former Broward Sheriff’s officer has been out of work for almost nine years, claiming he can’t perform everyday tasks.  Video (obtained by New Times) shows otherwise, and Nicolas Carreno, 45, was arrested last week on charges of insurance fraud.

Investigators in the Broward Sheriff’s Office fraud division say Carreno, of Lauderhill, told worker’s compensation officials he had felt a sharp pain in his lower back while lifting his laptop out of his patrol car on Oct. 19, 2007. He underwent surgery, was prescribed a wheelchair, and was placed on no-work status. He said he was unable to conduct normal activities such as driving, bending, and picking up lightweight bags because of the injury. He repeated the claims on Sept. 4, 2013, according to the State Attorney’s Office.

But Command Investigations began investigating Carreno in 2013, and obtained video surveillance of him walking, driving, and even carrying a gym bag. Prosecutors say his abilities are at odds with the statements he made in his sworn deposition.

The seven-minute video provided as evidence in the case shows him ambling along (although somewhat clumsily) in T-shirt and shorts, wearing Crocs. He uses a walker in the final minute but it barely touches the ground as he breezes along. Later in the scene, he folds up the walker and carries it by his side, as though delivering it to another person.

The complaint affidavit noted the amount paid so far on the claim, including indemnity, medical and expenses, is $533,672.14.

Carreno told the Sun Sentinel: "Everything is legitimate; I have proof I have a severe back injury. My life is a complete mess right now because of it. I lost my job, I lost my career, I'm ruined financially and emotionally, and now with this charge, it's the icing on the cake.

"I wasn't playing basketball or hanging shingles on the roof. I made it very clear that no two days were the same as far as the pain and my ability to do things."

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Nick Sortal is South Florida’s expert journalist when it comes to the gambling scene. He covered the openings, expansions, poker tournaments, entertainment, and human-interest facets of the industry for the South Florida Sun-Sentinel from 2007 until taking a buyout in November 2015, capping a 30-year career that included state and national awards and features about naked yoga. He now writes a weekly column for the Miami Herald and also reports about gambling on his site, The Southern Illinois native worked for papers in St. Louis and Indianapolis before joining the Sun Sentinel in 1985. He likes triathlons, country music, basketball, and bragging about his family.
Contact: Nick Sortal

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