For Immediate Release - December 17, 2009

Attorney General Martha Coakley's Office Announces Guilty Plea and Sentence of a Florida Man for Collecting Workers' Compensation Benefits While Working

BOSTON - A Florida man pled guilty in Suffolk Superior Court to charges he schemed to falsely collect workers' compensation benefits and lied under oath. Nelson Morillo, age 32, formerly of Framingham, MA, pled guilty to charges of Workers' Compensation Fraud (2 counts) and Perjury. Following the change of plea, Suffolk Superior Court Judge Carol Ball sentenced Morillo to one year in the House of Correction with the sentence suspended for three years on the count of Perjury. On the two counts of Workers' Compensation Fraud, Morillo was sentenced to three years probation and was ordered to pay $3,960 in restitution.

On December 15, 2003, Morillo was injured while working as an asbestos technician for Marcor Holdings, Inc., of Wilmington, MA. As a result of his injuries, Morillo applied for and began receiving total disability benefits from his employer's insurance company, Zurich North American Insurance Company (Zurich), from December 2003 through March 2004. During part of this time, Morillo was employed full-time with The TJX Companies, Inc.

Morillo's total disability benefits were terminated in April 2004 as a result of an Independent Medical Examination (IME), which cleared him to work without restriction. In an attempt to obtain partial disability benefits for his December 2003 injuries, Morillo reopened his claim in March 2005 and was subjected to a second IME, at which time he underreported his work hours despite being employed full-time. As the result of a modification hearing held by the Massachusetts Department of Industrial Accidents (DIA) in May 2005, Zurich was ordered to provide Morillo partial disability benefits while he was working full-time at TJX. At this hearing before the DIA, Morillo gave false testimony regarding his work hours and duties at TJX.

An investigation conducted by Zurich found multiple discrepancies between the Employee Earnings Report (EER) submitted by Morillo in June 2005 and records of his employment at TJX including his dates of employment, hours worked and job classification.

Morillo collected a total of $3,960 in workers' compensation benefits to which he was not entitled. This case was referred to the Attorney General's Office by the Insurance Fraud Bureau of Massachusetts (IFB) in July 2008.

Indictments were returned against Morillo on March 30, 2009. On May 15, 2009, Morillo was arraigned in Suffolk Superior Court at which time he entered a plea of not guilty and was released on personal recognizance. Morillo entered a change of plea to guilty and was sentenced yesterday in Suffolk Superior Court.

The was prosecuted by Assistant Attorney General Audrey Cosgrove of Attorney General Martha Coakley's Insurance and Unemployment Fraud Division with assistance from IFB.