MA Woman Pleads Guilty, Sentenced On Workers' Comp Fraud and Perjury
Worcester, MA (WorkersCompensation.com) - A Webster woman has pleaded guilty to perjury and fraudulently collecting more than $5,000 in workers' compensation benefits, Attorney General Martha Coakley announced today.
“Workers' compensation fraud leads to higher insurance premiums that are passed down to consumers,” AG Coakley said. “Despite running her own business, the defendant continued to collect benefits and lied to authorities about her earnings.”
Donna Bricault, 39, pleaded guilty Tuesday to charges of Workers' Compensation Fraud and Perjury. Following her plea Worcester Superior Court Judge James Lemire sentenced Bricault to five years probation and ordered her to pay more than $5,000 in restitution.
Bricault began receiving workers' compensation benefits following an injury sustained on the job in June 2005. In March 2007 Bricault began operating a home daycare business while continuing to collect benefits. From March 2007 through September of that year, Bricault earned more than $5,000 in income through her business. During that time Bricault fraudulently collected more than $5,000 in workers' compensation benefits while continuing to operate her business.
In August 2007 Bricault signed and submitted an Employee Earnings Report to her company's insurer affirming that she had no earnings from the past six months. Bricault subsequently lied under oath at a Department of Industrial Accidents hearing concerning her workers' compensation benefits claim, further asserting that she had no earnings for the previous six months.
A Worcester County Grand Jury returned indictments against Bricault on March 22, 2013. She was arraigned in Worcester Superior Court on April 12 where she pleaded not guilty and was released on personal recognizance. Bricault pleaded guilty Tuesday and was sentenced and ordered to pay restitution.
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.
This case was prosecuted by Assistant Attorney General Jessica Massey of AG Coakley's Insurance and Unemployment Fraud Division with assistance from the Insurance Fraud Bureau of Massachusetts.