Waltham Man Arraigned in Connection with Stealing Nearly $40,000 in Fraudulent Unemployment and Insurance Claims
John Toyias, age 45, was charged with Unemployment Fraud (55 counts), Motor Vehicle Insurance Fraud (2 counts), Larceny Over $250 (2 counts), and Attempted Larceny.
"Insurance and unemployment fraud are serious crimes that lead to a drain on our unemployment system and higher insurance premiums for consumers," said AG Coakley. "Our office will continue to investigate and prosecute these cases to protect our taxpayers."
According to authorities, Toyias, the owner of Waltham based Jayco Landscaping Company (Jayco), filed fraudulent insurance claims for alleged property damage to a methane pipe owned by the town of Canton. Jayco manages waste removal and dumping contracts for several cities and towns.
In May 2006, a driver allegedly backed over a methane pipe with their vehicle on a contracted site in Canton. According to authorities, although there was no visible damage, Toyias insisted that the driver report the incident and alleged damages to his insurer, Arbella Insurance Company (Arbella). Toyias subsequently submitted invoices for emergency repairs made to the methane pipe to Arbella, without contacting the town of Canton. As a result of the claim, Toyias was paid $9,925 by the insurer.
Authorities allege that in May 2007, a Jayco employee contacted Premier Insurance Company (Premier) to report a similar incident in which he backed his vehicle into the same methane pipe claimed in 2006. Toyias again claimed emergency repair work was completed on the methane pipe immediately following the accident and submitted repair invoices to Premier for $9,925. Subsequent investigation by Premier noted the previous claim made in 2006 and further investigation by an outside property damage appraiser at the site of the alleged incident found no evidence of any repairs made to the pipe. Premier ultimately denied the claim and referred the case to the Insurance Fraud Bureau of Massachusetts (IFB) for further investigation. Following its investigation, the IFB referred this matter to the Attorney General's Office.
In a separate scheme, Toyias allegedly applied for unemployment benefits from the Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development's Division of Unemployment Assistance (EOLWD\DUA) on two separate occasions while fraudulently claiming to be separated from his employer and began receiving benefits from January 2006 through July 2006, and from March 2007 through September 2007. During the relevant time periods, Toyias allegedly continued to operate as the president and owner of Jayco, and failed to disclose his employment status to EOLWD\DUA.
For each of the 55 weeks that Toyias collected unemployment benefits he allegedly notified the EOLWD\DUA that he was not working, but that he was able to work and was available for work. Authorities allege Toyias collected fraudulent benefits totaling $30,620 while working and collecting.
A Suffolk County Grand Jury returned indictments against Toyias on January 27. Toyias was arraigned today in Suffolk Superior Court at which time he entered a plea of not guilty and was released on personal recognizance. Toyias is due back in court on September 6, for a pre-trial conference. Clerk Magistrate Gary Wilson presided over today's arraignment.
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 2010 the Insurance and Unemployment Fraud Division obtained more than $800,000 in restitution orders in 30 matters.
The prosecutor assigned to this case is Assistant Attorneys General Audrey Cosgrove of AG Coakley's Insurance and Unemployment Fraud Division with assistance from investigators from EOLWD\DUA and the IFB.
To report unemployment fraud to the EOLWD\DUA, call the agency's toll free fraud hotline at 1-800-354-9927 anytime, 24 hours a day. Callers may remain anonymous.