MA Contractor Indicted In Workers Compensation Fraud SchemeJune 19, 2015
The owner of a Massachusetts asbestos abatement company was indicted on multiple counts of workers compensation fraud and grand larceny. Allen Young, owner of Atlantic Bay Contracting, Inc., was indicted by a Suffolk County grand jury on six counts of workers compensation fraud and six counts of larceny over $250. Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey told reporters that Mr. Young had made false statements to avoid paying higher workers compensation insurance premiums. His arraignment is scheduled for July 21.
Details of the Workers Compensation Fraud
According to the state prosecutor’s office, Mr. Young had been committing workers compensation fraud since 2007. The indictment alleges that he made false statements about the company’s work with asbestos. The statements to the state workers compensation agency mentioned that workers removed asbestos only from pipes and boilers of older buildings. In reality, the company’s asbestos abatement projects were involved in many other areas. The workers compensation fraud enabled Mr. Young to save more than $35,000 in state insurance premium payments.
Investigation into Workers Compensation Fraud
]The investigation into the workers compensation fraud scheme involved both the state attorney general’s office and the state Insurance Fraud Bureau. Anthony DiPaolo, the chief of investigations for the insurance fraud office, told reporters about the probe and the effects of workers compensation fraud on the state’s economy. He said that the “joint effort illustrates the commitment of both (offices) in fighting this type of insurance fraud.” He also stated any attempt at workers compensation fraud “places a financial drain on the system.”
Penalties for Workers Compensation Fraud
If a jury votes to convict Mr. Young of workers compensation fraud, he will face some serious penalties. Massachusetts state law places a penalty for insurance fraud, including workers compensation fraud, of up to five years in state prison and fines up to $10,000 for each count. The larceny charges carry a penalty of up to five years in prison and fines up to $25,000 for each count.
Dangers of Workers Compensation Fraud
One of the more egregious parts of the workers compensation fraud scheme is that it involved working with asbestos. Scientific studies have linked exposure to asbestos with mesothelioma, a rare form of cancer that attacks the lining of the lungs. Mesothelioma is incurable, aggressive and often undetectable until its final stages. Attorney General Healey stated that Mr. Young’s attempt at workers compensation fraud “jeopardized the safety of his employees” and “harms law-abiding Massachusetts business owners.”
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