For Immediate Release - September 17, 2015

Brockton Man Indicted for Larceny, Fraud in $60,000 Benefits Scheme

BOSTON – A Brockton man has been indicted on larceny, unemployment fraud, and workers’ compensation fraud charges in connection with an alleged scheme in which he fraudulently collected more than $60,000 in benefits, Attorney General Maura Healey announced today.

Henry Thomas, age 51, of Brockton, was indicted today by a Suffolk Grand Jury on charges of Larceny Over $250 (1 count), Unemployment Fraud (86 counts) and Workers’ Compensation Fraud (1 count). He will be arraigned in Suffolk Superior Court on Oct. 7.

“The unlawful collection of unemployment and workers’ compensation benefits puts a strain on the system and takes funds away from those in need,” AG Healey said. “We will continue to prosecute these crimes to hold accountable those who defraud the system, to deter others who would seek to commit this kind of fraud, and to return these funds back to the Commonwealth.”   

The Insurance Fraud Bureau of Massachusetts (IFB) referred this case to the Attorney General’s Office after an investigation into allegations that this individual was committing benefits fraud.

“The IFB vigorously pursues fraud investigations of this type because fraudulent workers’ compensation claims unnecessarily drive up costs for businesses, which ultimately get passed onto consumers,” said Daniel Johnston, Executive Director of the Insurance Fraud Bureau.

Authorities allege that between April 2010 and December 2011, Thomas collected unemployment benefits while simultaneously collecting workers’ compensation benefits.

Under Massachusetts law, workers’ compensation benefits cannot be paid for any week during which an employee has received unemployment benefits.  Likewise, the law also disqualifies unemployment benefit claimants from receiving unemployment while receiving workers’ compensation for total disability.

The investigation revealed that in January 2010, Thomas suffered an on-the-job injury working as a truck driver and subsequently applied for and was awarded total disability workers’ compensation benefits. 

Thomas then allegedly applied for unemployment benefits from the Division of Unemployment Assistance (“DUA”) in April 2010 and fraudulently collected more than $26,000 unemployment benefits while continuing to collect workers’ compensation benefits. 

Authorities allege that Thomas collected more than $34,000 in temporary total disability workers’ compensation benefits during the same time period without disclosing that he was receiving unemployment benefits at the same time.

AG Healey’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 systems. 

These charges are allegations and the defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty.

Assistant Attorney General Kristy Lavigne of AG Healey’s Insurance and Unemployment Fraud Division is prosecuting this case with the assistance of Senior Investigator Philip Mantyla of the Attorney General’s Office, the Insurance Fraud Bureau, and Chase Filosa from the Division of Unemployment Assistance (DUA).

##########