Rockland Woman Pleads Guilty, Sentenced for Fraudulently Collecting Insurance Payments
Defendant Submitted more than $27,000 of Fraudulent Physical Therapy Claims
BROCKTON – A Rockland woman has pleaded guilty to charges she fraudulently collected insurance payments of more than $27,000, Attorney General Martha Coakley announced today. The case was referred to the Attorney General’s Office by the Insurance Fraud Bureau of Massachusetts (IFB) following its investigation.
Olga O’Connor Rich, 41, pleaded guilty in Plymouth Superior Court to charges of Motor Vehicle Insurance Fraud (46 counts), Larceny Over $250 (4 counts) and Attempted Larceny (4 counts). After the plea was entered Judge Carol Ball sentenced Rich to two-and-half years in the House of Correction with 30 days to serve, balance suspended for five years. Rich was also sentenced to five years of probation and ordered to pay full restitution.
“This defendant submitted fraudulent bills to insurance companies to collect for treatment that was never provided,” AG Coakley said. “Insurance fraud leads to higher premiums and puts a greater burden on consumers through no fault of their own.”
“This case is the culmination of a lengthy investigation by several agencies who work together to eliminate insurance fraud in Massachusetts, including the Insurance Fraud Bureau of Massachusetts, the State Police, and the Attorney General’s office,” said Daniel Johnston, Executive Director of the Insurance Fraud Bureau. “Taking fraud out of the system reduces insurance rates for all honest citizens.”
Rich was the sole owner of South Coastal Physical Therapy (SCPT), located in Brockton, from 2001 through 2009. Rich used her position at SCPT to submit fraudulent physical therapy bills to several automobile insurance carriers. These “supplemental bills” were sent months or years after the initial billings were sent to the insurers for purported treatment that was never rendered.
Rich continued to submit the bills to insurers even after SCPT closed and ceased all operations in December 2009. Rich continued to make calls to insurers seeking reimbursement as recent as August 2011. As a result of the scheme, Rich submitted fraudulent bills totaling nearly $60,000 to insurance companies and received payments of more than $27,000 between August 2007 and August 2011.
A special statewide grand jury returned indictments against Rich on September 13, 2012. She was arraigned on October 10, 2012 in Plymouth Superior Court, where she pleaded not guilty and was released on personal recognizance. Rich pleaded guilty on Tuesday. Imposition of the sentence is stayed until April 9.
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 2012, the IUFD obtained more than $1,647,000 in restitution orders in 32 matters.
The case was prosecuted by Assistant Attorney General Jessica Massey of Attorney General Martha Coakley’s Insurance and Unemployment Fraud Division with assistance from Shannon Legrice and Amber Foley of the AG’s Victim/Witness Services Division, Massachusetts State Police and the IFB.