For Immediate Release - January 12, 2010

Attorney General Martha Coakley's Office Announces the Arraignment of a Former Springfield Public School Teacher in Connection with Fraudulently Collecting Over $22,000 in Disability Benefits While Working

SPRINGFIELD - Attorney General Martha Coakley announces the arraignment of a Connecticut man on charges he schemed to fraudulently collect over $22,000 in disability benefits while working. Jimmie Jacques DeVone, age 54, of West Hartford, was charged with Insurance Fraud.

According to authorities, while working as a Springfield public school teacher, DeVone applied for Short Term Disability (STD) and Long Term Disability (LTD) insurance through his employer in April 2001. DeVone was approved for STD in May 2004 and then LTD in August 2004. According to authorities, in July 2006, DeVone informed his insurer that he would be returning to work in October 2006. As a result, DeVone was sent a lump sum payment to close his account.

In October 2006, however, DeVone requested that his LTD claim continue based on a new health-related diagnosis that prevented him from returning to work. According to authorities, DeVone's claim was re-opened and he began receiving benefit payments in November 2006. Authorities allege that despite receiving LTD benefits, DeVone started a new $70,000 job as an assistant principal in New Haven, Connecticut, and did not inform his insurance provider of his employment status.

According to authorities, DeVone began working as an assistant principal in October 2006, and made multiple false statements regarding his employment status to his insurance provider from January 2007 to October 2007. Authorities allege that during this time period DeVone fraudulently collected $22,135.60 in disability benefits while working full time.

A Hampden County Grand Jury returned an indictment against DeVone on December 22, 2009. DeVone was arraigned in Hamden Superior Court yesterday at which time he entered a plea of not guilty and was released on personal recognizance. DeVone is due back in court on February 25, 2010, for a pre-trial hearing. Superior Court Judge Constance Sweeney presided over the arraignment.

The prosecutor assigned to this case is Assistant Attorney General Michael J. Walsh of Attorney General Martha Coakley's Insurance and Unemployment Fraud Division with assistance from the Insurance Fraud Bureau of Massachusetts.