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OFF BEAT: Soccer league red cards ref over comp fraud charge

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A Major League Soccer referee has been kicked to the sidelines by his employer for allegedly committing alleged workers compensation fraud.

The New York State Police Bureau of Criminal Investigation arrested 33-year-old Jose C. Rivero of White Plains, New York, on Oct. 8, according to a statement from the New York State Police. His arrest came after a joint investigation by the New York State Workers Compensation Board, New York State Insurance Fund and the state police department, which allegedly showed that he illegally collected $14,000 while gainfully employed.

The release does not say why Mr. Rivero had been receiving workers comp benefits.

Mr. Rivero refereed MLS games during the time that he allegedly was receiving workers comp, according to media reports. That reportedly includes a match on Oct. 19 between the New York Red Bulls and the Columbus Crew.

However, the Professional Referees Organization told The New York Times on Thursday that Mr. Rivero has been “suspended with immediate effect and will be not be assigned to any further matches pending the outcome of the legal proceedings.”