Woman Arraigned For Collecting Over $25,000 In Federal Workers' Compensation Benefits

Greenfield, MA (CompNewsNetwork) – Today, a Gill woman was arraigned on charges she schemed to fraudulently collect over $25,000 in federal workers' compensation benefits and intimidated a witness.  Barbara McComb, age 45, was charged with Larceny by False Pretenses (4 counts) and Witness Intimidation.

On November 19, 2003, McComb was injured in a fall while working as a letter carrier for the United States Post Office (USPS) in Northfield, MA.  In December 2003, McComb allegedly started her own business, Long Arm Quilting, out of her home. 

According to authorities, McComb's claim for federal workers' compensation was accepted by the United States Department of Labor (DOL) in April 2004 and she began receiving benefits in June 2004 through July 2006, including back payments from March 2004 to June 2004.  During this time period, McComb allegedly failed to report her self-employment to DOL or the Office of Workers' Compensation Program (OWCP).      

For each of the four claim forms that McComb was required to file with OWCP between March 2004 and July 2006, authorities allege she failed to report any employment, salary or earnings of any kind.  According to authorities, in November 2007, McComb allegedly intimidated a former customer who spoke to investigators from USPS regarding McComb's alleged employment status.  The alleged fraudulent activities were initially detected by investigators from the OWCP and USPS who referred the case to the Attorney General's Office.  Authorities allege McComb fraudulently collected payments totaling $25,431.09.

McComb was arraigned today in Greenfield District Court at which time she entered a plea of not guilty and was released on personal recognizance.  McComb is due back in court on March 20, 2009, for a pre-trial conference.  District Court Judge Arthur F. Haley III presided over the arraignment

The prosecutor assigned to this case is Assistant Attorney General Michael J. Walsh of Attorney General Martha Coakley's Insurance and Unemployment Fraud Division with assistance from investigator Luke Goldworm of the Attorney General's Office.  The USPS also assisted in this investigation.

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