Boston, MA – An Attleboro man was recently indicted on charges he fraudulently collected more than $53,000 in workers’ compensation benefits while working, Attorney General Martha Coakley announced today.
“We allege the defendant collected workers’ compensation benefits while working in violation of the law,” AG Coakley said. “These benefits are essential to helping individuals that are unable to work as the result of work related injuries.”
“This type of insurance fraud, working while collecting Workers Comp, is unfortunately not an isolated case. The Insurance Fraud Bureau vigorously investigates these types of cases, because they represent double-dipping, and can have a devastating effect on honest employers who pay the premiums to protect their employees,” said Daniel Johnston, Executive Director of the Insurance Fraud Bureau. “Today there are over 80 similar cases under investigation by the Insurance Fraud Bureau in the state, and we work closely with the Attorney General on all of them.”
Dennis Gabriel, 57, is charged with Workers’ Compensation Fraud and Larceny Over $250.
State and federal law requires claimants of injury related benefits to periodically make certain disclosures that may include but are not limited to the certification of their employment status, condition of health, and report any earnings while receiving compensation.
According to authorities Gabriel suffered a work related injury in August 2005 while employed on a construction site. In September 2007 the Department of Industrial Accidents (DIA) ruled that Gabriel was eligible to receive temporary total disability benefits from his employer’s insurance company, AIG/Chartis Insurance Company (AIG), beginning in June 2007 through February 2009.
In June 2008, AIG received an anonymous tip that Gabriel was working as a subcontractor in Rhode Island while collecting workers’ compensation benefits. Further investigation revealed that in July 2008 Gabriel signed Employee Earnings Reports (EER) stating that he did not receive any income while allegedly working as a subcontractor.
Authorities allege that Gabriel earned more than $62,000 between April 2007 through November 2008 while working as a subcontractor and collecting workers’ compensation benefits. As a result of his alleged failure to report earnings Gabriel fraudulently collected more than $53,000 in workers’ compensation benefits.
A Bristol County Grand Jury returned indictments against Gabriel on Monday. He will be arraigned at a later date.
AG Coakley’s Insurance and Unemployment Fraud Division works to protect consumers and the integrity of the insurance system by investigating and prosecuting those who commit fraud against all types of insurers, including the Commonwealth’s unemployment insurance and workers’ compensation system. The prosecution of insurance fraud helps prevent the increase in premiums and taxes that are the result of fraudulent insurance claims. In 2012, the IUFD obtained more than $1,647,000 in restitution orders in 32 matters.
The case is being prosecuted by Assistant Attorney General April English of AG Coakley’s Insurance and Unemployment Fraud Division with assistance from investigator Christopher Gabriel of the Attorney General’s Office and the Insurance Fraud Bureau of Massachusetts.
Source: ME AG’s Office