It is something so basic that I should not have to review it here. Common sense would tell anyone who had, well, common sense, that if you are going to stage a beating on the eve of Halloween in order to collect workers' comp, you should at least wipe the fingerprints off the fake pumpkin you are going to leave behind.
Then again, anyone with common sense probably wouldn't arrange a fake beating on Halloween Eve in the first place.
A Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority Trolley driver has been charged with insurance fraud, misleading police and perjury for filing a false workers' compensation claim after an alleged assault on the Mattapan trolley line. On Oct. 30, 2016, police responded to a call where the driver “claimed a man in dark clothing, wearing a ‘Michael Myers' Halloween mask and carrying a plastic pumpkin had boarded his trolley and began attacking him.”
He told police he was “pulled from the train and pummeled on the ground before the attacker ran off.” He left the plastic pumpkin behind, however.
After being treated at the hospital, he began collecting workers' compensation. In addition to his claims of physical injury, he claimed to suffer post-traumatic stress from the attack. He began collecting payments from a long-term disability insurance policy as well.
(Long Island Railroad employees may also find this lesson in their “Retirement 101” series.)
Police later discovered that the driver had paid a friend $2,000 to stage the attack. This dynamic duo's unraveling was that damn pumpkin, carelessly left behind in the fake melee of the bogus attack. It seems the police, doing the diligent things that police do, found fingerprints on the pumpkin that belonged to the friend. Law enforcement did not provide details other than that the friend cooperated in the investigation, but reading between the lines, we can assume that, under pressure, the idiot folded like a lawn chair.
And so, the lesson here is that if you intend to commit fraud, don't befriend idiots who don't know how to wipe the prints off of their pumpkins.
I should note that the driver was only just indicted. He has not yet been found guilty of the crime. He continues to collect workers' comp and disability benefits. Although from what police indicated, the pumpkin wasn't the only thing these guys forgot to wipe. The Suffolk County District Attorney's office says investigators found “bank and phone records showing the two had communicated both before and after the supposed attack.”
I wonder if one of those pre-attack messages said, “And carry a plastic pumpkin. That would be cool.” That would be sweet as pumpkin pie; some delicious irony, indeed.
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Robert Wilson is President & CEO of WorkersCompensation.com, and "From Bob's Cluttered Desk" comes his (often incoherent) thoughts, ramblings, observations and rants - often on workers' comp or employment issues, but occasionally not.
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