For Immediate Release - June 29, 2012

Two Men Indicted in Connection with Insurance Fraud Scheme

Alleged Scheme Resulted in Fraudulent Payment of More Than $23,000

DEDHAM – Two men have been indicted in connection with a scheme to fraudulently collect an insurance payment of more than $23,000, Attorney General Martha Coakley announced today. 

“We allege that these defendants conspired to defraud an insurance company of thousands of dollars for their own personal benefit,” AG Coakley said.  

Jeffery Bannon, age 37, of Clinton, MI, formerly of Swansea, Mass., is charged with Making a Fraudulent Insurance Claim, Larceny over $250, and Conspiracy to Commit Larceny over $250.  Steven Cournoyer, 37, of North Providence, RI, is charged with Larceny over $250 and Conspiracy to Commit Larceny. 

Bannon is a former employee of Magna Carta Companies (Magna Carta), also known as Public Service Mutual Insurance Company. According to authorities, Bannon and Cournoyer conspired in a scheme to defraud the insurance company out of a closed unpaid claim. The claim was related to a slip and fall that occurred in March 2007 at a Wellesley restaurant insured through Magna Carta.

Authorities allege that in February 2008, Bannon acting in his capacity as regional claims manager, reopened the property liability claim to authorize a payment of $23,500 to Cournoyer. As part of the alleged scheme, Cournoyer deposited the insurance proceeds into his bank account and wrote a series of checks to Bannon totaling $6,240. 

The alleged fraud was initially discovered by Magna Carta in August 2010 following an internal investigation. This case was referred to the Attorney General’s Office by the Insurance Fraud Bureau of Massachusetts (IFB).

A Norfolk County Grand Jury returned indictments against Bannon and Cournoyer on June 27. The defendants will be arraigned in Norfolk Superior Court at a later date.

AG Coakley’s Insurance and Unemployment Fraud Division (IUFD) 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 2011, the division obtained nearly $5.6 million in restitution orders in 33 matters.

Assistant Attorney General Gina Masotta of Attorney General Martha Coakley’s Criminal Bureau is prosecuting this case with assistance from investigator Tracy Wetterlow of the Attorney General’s Office and the IFB.