Attorney General Martha Coakley's Office Announces Guilty Plea and Sentence of a New Hampshire Woman on Charges of Motor Vehicle Insurance Fraud and Larceny
The Attorney General's Office began an investigation into Keegan's activities after a referral was made by the Massachusetts Insurance Fraud Bureau (IFB). In August 2002, Keegan suffered legitimate injuries from a dog biting incident resulting in scaring above her right eye and received a settlement from her insurer, State Farm Fire & Casualty Co. (State Farm). Investigators further discovered that Keegan sustained additional injuries to her right shoulder as the result of an auto accident in February 2003, at which time she reported her injuries to MetLife Auto & Home Insurance Co. (MetLife). In an effort to embellish her claim with MetLife, Keegan also cited the injuries she sustained from her previously settled August 2002 claim and lost wages from a non-existent job.
In response to her claim, MetLife paid Keegan $20,000 in compensation for her total injuries and purported loss of wages as result of the accident. At the time of the accident Keegan claimed to be employed at John D's Deli, a restaurant/bar that closed in July 2002, before any of the alleged injuries occurred.
After receiving payment from MetLife, Keegan used the exact same medical records and false wage information to file a claim with Travelers Insurance in June 2004 for an April 2003 incident. Travelers paid Keegan $9,500.
On two separate instances in September 2004 and January 2005, Keegan filed false insurance claims for an alleged injury in a slip in fall against the City of Haverhill and a minor motor vehicle accident. Keegan again cited previously compensated injuries in both claims and false wage information in the motor vehicle claim with Liberty Mutual Insurance.
An Essex Grand Jury returned indictments against Keegan on June 12, 2009. On July 6, 2009, Keegan was arraigned in Essex Superior Court at which time she entered a plea of not guilty and was released on personal recognizance. Keegan entered a change of plea to guilty and was sentenced yesterday in Essex Superior Court.
Attorney General Martha 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 Fiscal Year 2009, the Insurance and Unemployment Fraud Division obtained over $2.6 million in restitution orders in 103 matters.
The case was prosecuted by Assistant Attorney General Michael J. Walsh of Attorney General Martha Coakley's Insurance and Unemployment Fraud Division with assistance from investigators from the IFB.